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Full text of "A critical history of the Celtic religion and learning : containing an account of the druids; or, the priests and judges, of the vaids, or the diviners and physicians; and of the bards, or the poets and heralds; of the ancient Gauls, Britons, Irish and Scots"

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> OR, THI 








H I S T O R Y 




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- ■— — . 


An Abstract of the Life of the Author 







JOHN TOLAND was born on the 30 th November* 
1670? in the most northern Peninsula in" Ireland, on 
the Isthmus whereof stands Londonderry. That Pen¬ 
insula was originally called Tnis-Eogan, or Inis-Eogain * 
but is now called Enis-Owen* Toland had the name 
of Janus Junius given him at the font* and was call¬ 
ed by that name in the school roll every morning; but 
the other boys making a jest of it* the master ordered 
him to be called John, which name he kept ever after. 

Mr. Toland, as far as now can be collected, was the 
son of a Popish Priest; and, he hath been abused by 
Abbot Tilladet, Bishop Huetius and others, on the 
ground of his alleged illegitimacy: which, were it true, 
is a most base and ridiculous reproach ; the child, in 
such a case, being entirely innocent of the guilt of his 
parents. Had Mr. Toland been really illegitimate, 



winch was not the case, no infamy coukl have at¬ 
tached to him on that account, unless he can be sup¬ 
posed to have had the power of directing the mode of 

his coining into existence. The following testimonial 


given him at Prague, where he was residing in 1 708, 
will however, sufficiently remove so foolish and ground¬ 
less an imputation. It runs thus : 

Infra script! testamur Dom. Joannem Toland, ortuiri 
esse ex honesifi,. nobili et antiquissima familia, quae 
per plares' cenfettos annos, Ut Regni Historia et con¬ 
tinue monstrant memoria, in Peninsula Hihernim 
Enis-Oivm dicta prope urbem Londino-Dcriensem in 
Ultonia, perduravit. In eujus rei firmiorem fidem, nos 
ex eadem patria oriundi propriis mahibus subscripsi- 
inns, Pragse in Bohemia, hac die 2. Jan. 1708. 

Joannes O’Niell superior Collegii Hibernoram. 
L. S. F rancisus O'Deulin, S. Theologize Professor. 

Rudolplius O’Niell, S. Theol. Lector. 


“ We Subscribers testify, that Mr. John Toland is 
« descended of an honourable, noble, and very ancient 
* family, which resided several centuries on the Pen- 
“ insula of Ireland, called Enis-Owen, near the city of 
«■ Londonderry in L T lster, which the history of that 
• £ kingdom, and continual mention of the family 
“ clearly establish. For the surer credence of this, 
“ we natives of the same country have subscribed with 

** our own hands at Prague in Bohemia, this 2d Jan. 
* 1708.” 

The Reader will see from this Certificate 'of the 
Irish Franciscans at Prague, that Mr. Poland was 
honourably, nobly and anciently descended. 


We may however take it for granted, that his rela 
lions were Papists; for in his 
Mysterious, he tells us, “ tj 

preface to Christianity not 
at he was educated from 

the cradle in the grossest Superstition and Idolatry, 
” but God was pleased to make his own reason, and 

such as made use of theirs, the happy instruments 
“ of his Conversion.” He again informs us, in his 
Apology, “ that he was not sixteen years old when 

" he became as zealous against Popery, as he has ever 

£ ‘ since continued.” 

From the school at Redcastle, near Londonderry, he 
went in 1687, to the College of Glasgow ; and after 
three years stay there, visited Edinburgh, where lie 
was created Master of Arts on the 30th of June, 1690 
and received the usual Diploma from the Professors, of 
which the following is a copy. 

L'niversis et singulis ad quos prsesentes llterje perve- 
nient, NOS universitatis Jacobi Regis Edinhurgense 
Piofessoics, Salutem in Domino sempiternam compre- 
camur: Unaque testamur ingenuum hunc bonse Spci 
Juvenem Magistrum Joannem Toland Hihernum, mo- 
’ ibiis, diligentia, et JauqahiJi. succegsu se nobis ita ap-. 


probasse ut post editum Philosophic! profectus examen, 
Solenni more Magister in Artibus liberalibus renunti- 
aretur, in Comitiis nostris Laureatis anno Salutis Mil- 
lesimo, Sexcentesimo et Nonagesimo, trigesimo die 
Junii: Quapropter non dubitamus eum nunc a Nobis 
in patriam redeuntem, ut egregium Adolescentem, om¬ 
nibus quos adire, vel quibuscum versari contigerit, de 
meliori nota commendare, sperantes ilium (opitulante 
divina gratia) LiterishisceTestimonialibus fore abunde 
responsurum. In quorum fidem incljta Civitas Edin- 
burgurn Academia; hujus parens et Altrix sigillo suo 
publico liter as syngraphis N ostris porro confirmari jussit. 

Al. Monro, S.S.T.D. Professor Primarius. 

J o.Strachan, S. S. T. D. ejusdemque Professor, 

, D. Gregorie, Math. P. 

J. Herbertus Kennedy, P. P. 

L. S. J. Dmmmond, H. L. P. 

Tho. Burnet, Ph. P. 

Robertus Henderson, B. et Academia; ab 
Archivis &c. 

Dabamus in supradicto I 

Athenaeo Regio 22do. 

die Julii anno jErae f 

Christianae 1690. J , ' 1 


“To all and every one, to whom the present letter 
" may come, We the Professors of the University of E- 
45 dinburgh, founded by King James, wish eternal salva- 
, tion the Lord : and at the same time testify, that 


^ m rrm n m— mr * -mn* 

« this ingenuous youth, Mr. John Toland of excellent 
“ promise, has sohighly satisfiedusby his good conduct, 
“ diligence andlaudable progress, that after Ja public ex- 
“ amination of his progress in Philosophy, he was after 
w the usual manner declared Master of the liberal Ar ts, 
“ in our Comitia Laureata, in the year of Redemption 
“ 1690 , 80 th June : Wherefore we do not hesitate to re- 

commend him now returning from us, to his native 
“ country, as an excellent young man, to all persons of 
“ better note, to whom he may have access, or with 
“ whom he may sojourn, hoping that he (through the 
“ aid of Divine Grace,) will abundantly answer the cha- 
“ racter given him in this Diploma. In testimony of 
“ which, the ancient city of Edinburgh, the Parent and 
“ Benefactress of this Academy has ordered this writ- 
“ ing with our subscriptions, to receive the additional 
“ confirmation of their Public Seal.” 

Given in the aforesaid Royal ) 

Athenaeum, 22d July, 1690. j 

Mr. John Toland having received his Diploma, re¬ 
turned to Glasgow, where he resided but a short time. 
On his departure, the magistrates of that city gave 
him the following recommendation. 

“ We the Magistrates of Glasgow under subscribing, 
“ do hereby certifie and declare, to all whom these pre- 
“ sents may concern. That the bearer John Toland, 
<¥ Master of Arts, did reside here for some yeares, as s 
“ student at the Universltie in this City, during which 


— »■» — wntmi ■ m i i mb ii nuanw i w*— i >—«>. 

:<< time he behaved himself as ane trew Protestant, and 
“ Loyal Subject, as witness our hands at Glasgow, the 

penult day of July one thousand six hundred and nine- 
‘ 5 tie yeares, and the common Seal of Office of the said 
(t > City is hereunto affixt, 

44 John Leck, 

■**' L. S. George Nisbitt.” 

It is worthy of remark, that Mr. Toland resided at 
Glasgow during the years 1688 and 1689, the two last 
of the Bloody Persecution of the Church of Scotland, 
and must have been an eye witness of many tyranni¬ 
cal and relentless scenes. It is well known, that the 
students of Glasgow, as a collective body, repeatedly 
joined the citizens, in repelling several of the military 
parties sent against them ; and there can hardly re¬ 
main a doubt, that Toland made one of the number. 
This sufficiently accounts for the Certificate given hint 
by the Magistrates of Glasgow, 

Mr. Toland dates his conversion, from the 16th year 
«f his age, which nearly coincides with his arrival in 
Glasgow ; for it will . be recollected, that he did not 
complete his 20th year, till the 30th of November af¬ 
ter leaving this city. It is therefore most probable, 
that he was here converted from Popery, and imbibed 
these notions of the simplicity and purity of Christiani¬ 
ty which he afterwards retained. 


Instead of re turn big to Ireland, Mr. Toland went te 




England, where he lived, (as he informs us in hisJpofo- 
gyl) in as good Protestant families as any in the king¬ 
dom, till he went to the famous university of Leyden, 
to perfect his studies, under the celebrated Spcinhemius, 
Trig landius, he. There he was supported by some 
eminent Dissenters in England, who had conceived 
great hopes from his uncommon parts, and might flat¬ 
ter themselves, he would one day become the Colossus 
of the party; for he himself informs us, in a Pamphlet 
published at London in 1697, that he had lived in their 
communion, ever since he quitted Popery. “ Mr. Po¬ 
land (says he, in answer to the imputation of being a 
rigid Non-conformist) will never deny but the real sim¬ 
plicity of the Dissenters’ worship ; and the seeming e>- ■ 
quity of their discipline, (into which, being so, young, 
he could not distinctly penetrate,) did gain extraordi¬ 
narily on his affections, just as he was newly delivered 
from the insupportable yoke of the most pompous and 
• tyrannical policy that ever enslaved mankind, under 
the name or shew of religion. But, when greater ex- 
c perience and more years had a little ripened his judg¬ 
ment, he easily perceived that the differences were not 
so wide, as to appear irreconcileable, or at least, that 
men who were sound Protestants on both sides, should 
barbarously cut one anothers’ throats; or indeed give 
any disturbance to the society about them. And as 
soon as he understood the late heats and animosities 
did not totally, if at all, proceed from a concern for 
mere religion, he allowed himself a latitude in several 


things, that would have been matter of scruple to him 
before. His travels increased, and the study of Ec¬ 
clesiastical History perfected this disposition, wherein 
he continues to this hour; for, whatever his own opin¬ 
ion of these differences be, yet he finds so essential an 
agreement between French, Dutch, English, Scottish, 
and other Protestants , that he is resolved never to lose 
the benefit of an instructive discourse, in any of their 
churches, on that score ; and, it must be a civil, not a 
religious interest that can engage him against any of 
these parties, not thinking all their private notions 
wherein they differ, worth endangering, much less sub¬ 
verting, the public peace of a nation. If this (pursues 
he,) makes a man a Non-conformist, then Mr. Toland 
is one unquestionably.” 

In 1 692, Mr. Daniel Williams, a Dissenting Minis¬ 
ter, published a Book, entitled. Gospel Truth Stated 
and Vindicated, in opposition to Dr. Crisp. Mr. Tol¬ 
and desired the Author of the JBibliotheque Universelle 
to give an Abstract of it in that Journal. The Jour¬ 
nalist complied; and, to the Abstract of Mr. William’s 
book, prefixed Mr. Toland’s recommendatory letter, 
and styles him Student in Divinity. Bibliotheque Uni¬ 
verselle, tom 2 3rd, page 506. 

Having staid about two years at Leyden, he returned 
to England, and soon after went to Oxford, where, be¬ 
sides the conversation of learned men, he had the ad¬ 
vantage of the public library. Here he collected roa- 

terials on various subjects; and, composed some pieces, 
among others, a Dissertation, wherein he proves the 
received history of the tragical death of Atilius Regu- 
lus, the Roman Consul, to be a fable ; and, with that 
candour which uniformly characterizes him, owns him¬ 
self indebted for this notion to Palmerius. 

In 1695, he left Oxford, and Came to London. In 
1696, he published his Christianity not Mysterious; or, 
a Treatise , shelving that there is nothing in the Gospel 
contrary to reason , nor above it; and, that no Christian 
Doctrine can properly be called a Mystery , Mr. To- 

land defines, mystery to be, a thing intelligible in it¬ 
self, but which could not be known, without special 
Revelation. And, to prove the assertion, he examines 
all the passages in the New Testament, where the word 
mystery occurs; and shews, 1st,That mystery is read 
for the Gospel ; or, the Christian Religion in gener¬ 
al, as it was a future dispensation, totally hid from the 
Gentiles, and but imperfectly known to the Jews. 
Secondly, That some peculiar doctrines, occasion¬ 
ally revealed by the Apostles, are said to be mani¬ 
fested mysteries ; that is, unfolded secrets : and 3dly, 
that mystery is put for any thing veiled under parables, 
or enigmatical forms of speech. But, he declares, at 
the same time, that, if his adversaries think fit to call 
a mystery , whatever is either absolutely unintelligible 
to us, or whereof we have but inadequate ideas ; he 


is read/ to admit of as many mysteries in religion g; 

they please. 

So far, the candid reader will be apt to think then 
is no great harm done. If Mr. ToIancTs adversaria 
did not choose to adopt his definition of the word my„ 
fery, he professes himself willing to accede to theirs; 
and indeed, all that has been advanced on either sicl 
of the question, is merely a dispute about words. IIE 
pretends, that he can give as clear and intelligible a 
explanation of the mysteries of the gospel, as of thephai 
nomena of nature : and, do not our divines do the sanri 
thing, by attempting to give a rational explanation c 
the Trinity, and the Resurrection, the greatest mys 
teries of the Christian religion ? Such explanations ar 
the tests of the soundness of their doctrine; and, wht 
knows but Mr. Toland’s explanation, had he given ones 
might have been orthodox. 

This Treatise alarmed the public ; and several cler. 
gy replied to it. Messrs. Beconsal, Beverley, Norris. 
and Elys ; Doctors Paix, and Stillingfleet ; tb 
Author of the Occasional Papers ; Messrs. Millar 
Gaiihard, and Synge, alf entered the lists. It was eves 
presented by the Grand Jury of Middlesex ; but, thi 
measure had no other effect, than to promote the sale o 
the book, mankind being naturally prone to pry int* 
what is forbidden them. 

This same year, Mr. Toland published a Discourse 


on Coins, by Signior Bernardo Davanzati, a gentle¬ 
man of Florence, delivered in the academy there, anm 
1 588 ; translated from Italian by John Toland. 


Christianity not Mysterious having found its way in¬ 
to Ireland, made some noise there, as well as in Eng¬ 
land ; but, the clamour was considerably increased, on 

the author’s arrival there, in the beginning of 1697. 

. ♦ 

Mr. Mollineux, in a letter to Mr. Locke, dated 10th 
April, 1697, says, “The Irish clergy were alarmed a- 
“ gainst Irkn to a mighty degi'ee; and, that he had his 
“ welcome to that city, by hearing himself harangued 
“ against, from the pulpit, by a Prelate of that 
“ Country.” 

Mr. Toland himself tells us, in his Apology, that he 
was hardly arrived in that country, when he found 
himself warmly attacked from the pulpit, which at first 
could not but startle the people, who till then, were 
equal strangers to him and Iris book ; but that in a 
short time, they were so well accustomed to this sub¬ 
ject, that it was as much expected, as if it had been 
prescribed in the Ruhrick. He also informs us, that 
his own silence respecting the book in question, made 
•his enemies insinuate that he was not the author of it. 

When this rough treatment of Mr. Toland from the 
pulpit proved insignificant, the Grand Jury was solicit¬ 
ed to present him, for a Book written and published in 
Jingland, Th e presentment of the Grand Jury of Mid- 



dlesex, was printed with an emphatical title, and cried 
about the streets. Mr. Toland was accordingly pre¬ 
sented there, the last day of the term, in the Court of 
King’s Bench. 

At that time, Mr. Peter Brown, Senior Fellow of 
Trinity College, Dublin, published a book against Mr, 
Toland’s Christianity notMysterious, in which he repre¬ 
sented him, as an inveterate enemy to all revealed religi¬ 
on ; a knight errant; one who openly affected to be the 
head of a sect, and designed to be as famous an im¬ 
postor as Mahomet. Mr. Brown was afterwards made 
bishop of Cork ; and Mr. Toland used frequently to 
say, “ That he made him a bishop.” This is the same 
jacobilical gentleman, who, because he could not bear 
that any person should drink the health of King Wil¬ 
liam, wrote a pamphlet against health-drinking, as 
being a profanation of the Lord's Supper ! 

Mr. Mollineux sent Mr. Brown’s book to Mr. Locke, 
and in a letter to him, dated 20th of July, 1697, says, 
« Mr. Toland has had his opposers here, as you will 
“ find by a book I have sent you. The author is my 

acquaintance ; but, two things I shall never forgive, 
“ in his book : the one, is the foul language and op- 
“ probrious epithets he has bestowed on Mr. Toland. 
“ The other is, upon several occasions, calling in the 
{s aid of the civil magistrate, and delivering Mr. To- 
“ land up to secular punishment. This indeed is a kit- 
“ ling argument; but, may dispose some to think. 


“ that where the strength of reason failed him, there 
“ he flies to the strength of the sword,” &c. 

Mr. Toland, it seems, was dreaded in Ireland as a 
second Goliath, who at the head of the Philistines de¬ 
fied the armies of Israel, in so much, that Mr. Han¬ 
cock, the Recorder of Dublin, in his congratulatory ha¬ 
rangue, to the Lords Justices of that kingdom, in the 
name of his corporation, begged their Lordships would 
protect the Church from all its adversaries ; but, parti¬ 
cularly from the Tolandists. 

But to give the last and finishing stroke to Mr. To- 
land’s book, it was brought before the parliament. Se¬ 
veral persons eminent for their birth ; good qualities, 
and fortune, opposed the whole proceedings; but, 
finding themselves over-ruled in this, they urged, that 
the objectionable passages should be read. That Toland 
should be heard in his defence personally ; or at least, 
by letter. All these propositions were rejected, and 
Mr. Toland, unheard and undefended, was ordered to be 
taken into the custody of the serjant at arms. Mr. 
Toland made his escape, but bis book was burnt by 
the common hangman, on the 11th September, 1697, 
before the gate of the parliament-house ; and also, in 
the open street, before the town-house ; the sheriffs 
and all the constables attending. 

Dr. South in the preface to his third volume of Ser¬ 
mons, compliments the Archbishop of Dublin, on his 


treatment of Toland, whom he calls a Mahometan 
Christian; and particularly, that he made the kingdom 
too hot for him, without the help of a faggot. The fag¬ 
got had been kindled in Scotland from the one end to 
the other, during the twenty-eight years persecution, 
and innocent and holy men burnt alive, merely for being 
non-conformists i or in other words, for not preferring 
the dogmas of arbitrary and interested men, to the sa¬ 
cred Scriptures. Toland’s crimes appear to have been 
much of the same kind, and it was very consistent in 
the Doctor to hint at a similar punishment. 

On Mr. Toland’s return to London, he published his 
Apology, giving an account of his conduct, and vindi¬ 
cating himself from the aspersions and persecutions of 
his enemies. 

In 1698, party-disputes ran high. The partizans of 
the house of Steuart wished to facilitate the Preten- 


der’s return, by keeping up no standing army at all. 
Their opponents took different ground.———Several 
pamphlets appeared ; and among the rest, one from 
the pen of Mr. Toland, wherein he recommends model¬ 
ling the militia on such a plan, as to render it adequate 
to the maintenance of internal tranquillity, and repul¬ 
sion of foreign invasion. Indeed, on every occasion, we 
•find Mr. Toland a staunch friend to the revolution, and 
the Protestant succession ; and, though this was not 
-the ostensible, still there is every reason to reckon it 


the real cause of his persecution ; his enemies, almost- 
to a man, entertaining very different sentiments. 

This same year, he published the life of John Milton, 
which was prefixed to his works, in three volumes 
folio. In the course of Milton’s life, Mr. Toland prov¬ 
ed that Icon Basilike was not written by Charles 1st, 
but by Dr. Gauden, and took occasion to remark, that, 
when this imposition was practised on the nation, at 
no greater distance of time than forty years, he ceased 
to wonder how so many suppositious pieces, under the 
name of Christ and his Apostles, should be published^ 
approved, <§c. Had he denied the Trinity, or blas¬ 
phemed the Holy Ghost, it would have been nothing* 
in comparison of curtailing the literary fame of the roy¬ 
al Martyr of the church of England. 

Accordingly, Mr Blackall, chaplin to the king, in a 
Sermon preached before the house of commons, 30th 
January, 1689, says, “ We may cease to wonder, that 
“ he (Mr. Toland,) should have the boldness, without 
« proof, and against proof, to deny the authority of 
“ this book, who is such an Infidel to doubt, and is 
“ shameless and impudent enough, even in print, and 
“ in a Christian country, publicly to affront our holy 
“ religion, by declaring his doubt, that several pieces 
“ under the name of Christ and his Apostles, (he must 
M mean those received by the whole Christian church, 
M for I know of no other.) are supposititious,” <%c. The 


reader will here smile, to see that Mr. Blackall rests 
the whole stress of Mr. Toland’s Infidelity, on his own 
ignorance. Mr. Blackall expressly says, “ Mr. To- 
“ land must mean the Books of the New Testament,” 
because he knows of no other. Excellent Logician ! 

In order to vindicate himself, Mr. Toland published 
Arnyntor, in which he re-doubles his arguments, to 
prove Dr. Gauden the author of Icon Basilike ; and, 
at the same time, published a list of supposititious 
pieces, ascribed to Christ, his Apostles, and other emi¬ 
nent men, extending to no less than forty-three octavo 
pages. After having given that catalogue, he proceeds 
thus : 

“ Here is a long catalogue for Mr. Blackall, who, 
M it is probable, will not think the more meanly of 
“ himself, for being unacquainted with these pieces ; 
« nor, if that were all, should I be forward to think the 
« worse of him on this account : but I think, he is to 
“ blame, for denying that there were any such, be- 
“ cause he knew nothing of them ; much less should 
“ he infer from thence, that I denied the Scriptures ; 
“ W'hich scandal, however, as proceeding from igno- 
“ ranee, I heartily forgive him, as every good Christian 
“ ought to do.” 

What a calm, dignified, Christian reply to the very 
xn&K? who, without the least shadow of fact, proclaim- 


ed Mr. Toland an impudent and shameless Infidel, be* 
fore the whole House of Commons. Poor Mr. Blackall 
was obliged to say something or other in his own de¬ 
fence. He published a pamphlet, wherein he labours 

hard to prove, that Mr. Toland’s words were liable to 

/ # . _ _ _ 

misapprehension; and says, “ I charged Mr. Toland 
with doubting of the books of the New Testament, 
but he declares, he does not mean those books, there¬ 
fore we are now agreed: there can be no dispute be¬ 
tween us on that subject.” 

In the same year, 1699, Mr. Toland published the 
Memoirs of Denzil, Lord Hollis , Baron of If eld in 
Sussex, from 164)1 to 1648. The manuscript was put 
into his hands, by the Duke of Newcastle, who was 
one of his patrons and benefactors ; and he dedicated 
the work to his Grace. 

In 1700, he published in folio, Harrington’s Oceana, 
with some other pieces of that ingenious author, not be¬ 
fore printed, to which he prefixed the life of the author* 
From the preface to this work, which is dated 30th 
November, 1699, we learn Mr. Toland’s exact age, for 
he there informs us, that this very day he was begin¬ 
ning his thirtieth year. 

About the same time, appeared a pamphlet, entitled 
Clilo ; or the force of Eloquence. The printer gave 
Mr. Toland as the author. This piece, consists of a 


' ■» I B 1 

_ - _ i ■ i ■ ■ 1 ■ ■■ i—r>«miir 

i w m r:-- —— -h c - 

dialogue between Clilo ands Adeisidcemon. This is a 
poetical performance. Mr. Toland is known by the 
name Adeisidcemon, which he translates, unsupersti- 
thus. This was animadverted on, by an anonmyous 
clergyman, who, after a torrent of Billingsgate abuse, 
translates Adeisidosmon, (in open violation of all the 
rides of etymology and common sense,) one that fears 
neither God nor devil To such pitiful lengths will the 
rancour of party-spirit drive men, when they are deter¬ 
mined to calumniate withy o» without reason. 

In the beginning of 1701, he published, The Art of 
Governing bp Parties, which he dedicated to King 
William the Illd.; and, about the same time, published 
a pamphlet, in quarto, entitled Propositions for uniting 
the two East-Indid Companies.. 

In March following, the lower and upper house of 
Convocation, with the concurrence of the bishops, re¬ 
solved to proceed against Mr. Toland’s Christianity 


not Mysterious, and his Amyntor, with all possible 
rigour. After passing some resolutions against these 
books, they found: they could not proceed without a; 
license from the king... Rather* than solicit this boon, 
they dropped their proceedings against Mr. Toland! 
Can any circumstance speak more strongly in the vin¬ 
dication of Mr. Toland ? Can any thing shew the in¬ 
nocence of our author, in a clearer point of view, than 
that the w r hole united English hierarchy, durst not so- 

licit a license from the king’ to prosecute him, because 
they were sure it would be refused ? This circum¬ 
stance affords more than a presumption, that Mr. To- 
land’s principal crimes, in the eyes of his enemies, were 
his predilection for Presbyterianism ; and, attachment 
to King William. 

Be that as it may, when on the death of the Duke 
of Gloucester, an act was passed in June, 1701, for the 
better securing the Protestant succession to the crown, 
Mr. Toland published his Anglia Libera ; or the Li¬ 
mitation and Succession of the Crown of England ex¬ 
plained and asserted ; as grounded on his Majesty’s 
Speech ; the proceedings of Parliament; the desires 
of the People ; the safety of our Religion ; the Nature 
of our Constitution ; the Balance of Europe ; and, 
the Rights of Mankind. This Treatise, he dedicated 
to his patron, the duke of Newcastle. 

The king having sent the earl of Macclesfield to 
Hanover, with the act of succession, Mr. Toland ac¬ 
companied him, and presented his Anglia Libera to 
her Electoral Highness the Princess Sophia ; and was 
the first who had the honour of kneeling and kissing 
her hand, on account of the act ef succession. The Earl 
of Macclesfield recommended him warmly to her 
Highness. Mr.Toland staid there five or six weeks, and 
at his departure, their Highnesses the Electress Dow¬ 
ager, and the Elector presented him with several gold 

medals, as a princely remuneration for the book lie had 



written, about the succession, in defence of their title 
and family. Her highness condescended to give him 
likewise, portraits of herself, the Elector, the young 
Prince, andof her Majesty the Queen of Prussia, done in 
oil colours. The Earl of Macclesfield, on his return, 
waited On the king at London, and presented Mr. To- 
land, who had the honour of kissing his Majesty’s hand. 

The Parliament was dissolved 11th November, and a 
new one summoned to meet the 30th December. The 
Tory party appeared horribly afraid that Mr. Toland 
would obtain a seat in the ensuing Parliament, and 
circulated a report that he was to be returned for 
Blechingley in Surry, a borough in the interest of Sir 
Robert Clayton. Mr. Toland, who had no intention 
whatever of this kind, contradicted the report, by an 
advertisement in the Post-man. Even this harmless act 
Could not pass without censure, but gave occasion to 
an anonymous author to publish a pamphlet, entitled 

Modesty mistaken ; or a Letter to Mr. Toland, up- 
<y on his declining to appear in the ensuing Parlia- 

'** ment.” 

On the opening of parliament, Mr. Toland publish¬ 
ed his Paradoxes of State, grounded chiefly on his 
majesty’s princely, pious, and most gracious speech. 

Soon after, he published “ Reasons for addressing his 
‘ ie Majesty to invite into England, the Electress Dow- 
“ ager, and the Electoral Prince of Hanover ; and for 
** attainting and abjuring the pretended Prince of 

a Wales,” <§c. This was answered by Mr. Luke MiU 
burn . But, Mr. To]and had the high gratification to 
see parliament attend to his suggestions. An act was 
accordingly passed for the attainder of the pretended 
Prince of Wales ; and another, for the better security 
of his Majesty’s Person, and the Protestant succession., 
and enjoining an oath of abjuration of the Preten¬ 
der. Thus, instead of an enemy to religion, or civil 
liberty, we find him strenuously recommending the most 
efficacious measures for the preservation of both* 

Some difference having arisen between the lower 
and upper house of Convocation, on a point of jurisdic¬ 
tion, respecting their proceedings against Christianity 
not Mysterious , the year before, a paper war commen¬ 
ced between them, and several pamphlets appeared 
on both sides. Those written by the parti zans of 
the upper house*, were favourable to Mr. Toland; but, 
those written in favour of the lower house, the reverse. 
He therefore, seized this opportunity of publishing his 
Vindicius Liberius ; being a vindication of his Chris¬ 
tianity not Mysterious a full and clear account of 
his religious and civil principles ; and, a justification 
of those called Whigs and Common-wealth men,* against 

the mis-representations of all their opposers. 


After the publication of this book, Mr. Toland went 
to the courts of Hanover and Berlin, where lie was 
very graciously received by the Princess Sophia, and 
the Queen of Prussia, He was often admitted to their 

conversation ; and wrote some pieces, which he pre¬ 
sented to herMajesty. There he wrote also, an account 
of the courts of Prussia and Hanover. 

On his return to England, 17G4, he published seve¬ 
ral philosophical letters ; three of which, he inscribed 
to the Queen of Prussia, under the designation of 

1 st. The Origin and Force of Prejudices. 

2d, The History of the Soul’s Immortality among 
the Heathens. 

Sd, The Origin of Idolatry, and Reasons of 

4th, A Letter to a Gentleman in Holland, shewing 
Spinoza!s System of Philosophy, to be without Princi¬ 
ple or Foundation. 

5th, Motion essential to Matter ; in answer to some 
remarks, by a noble Friend, on the confutation of 
Spinoza. Mr. Toland informs us, that the Queen of 
Prussia was pleased to ask his opinion, respecting the 
Subjects treated of, in the three Letters inscribed to 

These Letters were animadverted on, by Mr. Wot- 
ton, in a pamphlet, entitled, “ Letters to .Eusebia.” 

At the same time, he published an English transla¬ 
tion of the Life of JEsop, by Monsieur De Meziriae , 
and dedicated it to Anthony Collins, Esq. 


In 170 5, he published the following pieces. 

j - 

1st, Socinianism truly stated, <%c. 

2d, An Account of the Courts of Prussia and Han¬ 
over, dedicated ta the Duke of Somerset. 

3rd, The Ordinances, Statutes and Privileges of the 
Royal Academy at Berlin. Translated from the origi¬ 

The same year. Counsellor Pooley, and Dr. Drake,, 
wrote the Memorial of the Church of England , With a 
view to influence the ensuing parliamentary election,, 
by representing the Whig Administration , as plotting 
the ruin of the Church. 

By the direction of Mr. Harley, secretary of state, 
this memorial was answered, by Mr.Toland, in a 
Pamphlet, entitled, “ The Memorial of the State of 
“ England, in Vindication of the Queen, the Chhrch, 
M and the Administration; designed to rectify the mu* 
“ tual mistakes of Protestants; and, to unite their af- 
“ fections, in defence of our Religion and Liberty.” 
On the suggestion of Mr. Harley, who was one of Mr. 
Toland’s patrons and benefactors, this treatise was 
published, without the author’s name. 

This pamphlet was answered, by Thomas Raulins 3 
Esq., who made a direct attack on the duke of Marl¬ 
borough’s, and Mr. Harley’s conduct. Mr. William 
Stephens, rector of Sutton, in Surry, being found the 
publisher; and, refusing to bear evidence against Mr. 

Baulins., was sentenced to stand on the pillory ; but. 
the sentence was afterwards remitted. 

Mr. To!and was directed by Mr. Harley to answer 
this Pamphlet, which he did ; but, for some reasons, 
now unknown, the design was dropped, after part of 
Mr. Toland’s answer had been printed. 

Mr. Harley having found among his manuscripts, a 
Philippic against France, written in Latin, by one 
Cardinal Matthew, in 1514, gave it to Mr. Toland who 
edited it, both in English and Latin : along with o- 
fcher violent expressions, it contains the following, 
Gallorum Ungues non resecanclos , sea pentius evellmdos 
esse ; i. e. That the nails of the French were not t# 
be pared, but torn out by the roots. 

Soon after, he published the Elector Palatine’s De¬ 
claration, lately published in favour of his Protestant 
Subjects, <§c. This Mr. Toland did, at the particular 
request of the Elector Palatine’s minister. 

Xu the Spring, Mr. Toland went to Germany, and 
visited Berlin, Hanover, Dusseldorp, Vienna and Pra¬ 
gue in Bohemia. At Dusseldorp, he was most graci¬ 
ously received by his Electoral Highness, who, in con¬ 
sideration of the English pamphlet, published by him, 
presented him with a gold chain and medal, besides a 
hundred ducats. From Prague, he returned to Hol¬ 
land, where he staid till 1710. 

In Holland, he published the following Dissertations, 


viz. 1st, Adeisidccmoiij sive Titus Livius a Superstitions 
Vindicates, &c. 

2do. Orignes Judaicce, &c. In the course of this Dis¬ 
sertation, he animadverted on Huetius’ Demonstrate 
Evangelica. He ridicules Huetius for affirming that 
several eminent persons recorded in the Old Testament 
are allegorized in the Heathen Mythology, and parti- 
culary Moses under the names of Bacchus, Typho, 
Silenus, Priapus, and Adonis. Though Mr. Toland 
tvas unquestionably in the light, Huetius was greatly 
incensed, and expressed his resentment in a letter, 
first published in the Journal of Trevoux, and after¬ 
wards printed by Abbot Tilladet. It will be recollec¬ 
ted, that these are the two gentlemen, who endeavoured 

to convict Mr. Toland of the high and unpardonable 


crime, of not directing his parents to propagate him 

In 1709, he published at Amsterdam, a second edi¬ 
tion of his Philippic against France. 

In 1710, he published without his name, a French 
pamphlet, relating to Dr. Sacheverell. 

While in Holland, he had the good fortune to get 
acquainted with prince Eugene of Savoy, who gave 
him several marks of his generosity. 



After his return to England in 1711; he published 

V T ' , ■ ) 




the ITuviours of Epsom ; and at the same time, a- 

translation of four of Pliny’s Letters. 

( . ' f 

In 1712, he published Imo, a Letter against Popery, 
written by Sophia Charlotte, late Queen of Prussia,. 
2 do. Her Majesty’s reasons for creating the Electoral 
Prince of Hanovera Peer of that realm. 3tio .The Grand 
Mystery laid open ; namely, by dividing the Proles- 
tanls, to weaken^ the Hanoverian Succession, <%e. 

About the same time. Be published a new edition of 
Cicero's works,, an' undertaking for which he was emi¬ 
nently qualified. This work alone, is sufficient to trans¬ 
mit ML Toland’s name to posterity. It is extremely 
scarce, he having printed only a few copies, at his own 
charge, to serve his particular friends. 

In 1718, he published “ An Appeal to Honest Peo¬ 
ple, against wicked Priests,” <%e. : And much about 
the same time, a pamphlet on the necessity of de¬ 
molishing Dunkirk. 

In 1714, he published a pamphlet relative to the res¬ 
toration of Charles the lid. by General Monk ; also, a 
collection of letters, written by the General relating to. 
the same subject. 

The same year, Be published the Funeral Elogy of 
her royal highness, the kite Princess Sophia, &c. ; and 
much about the same time, “ Reasons for naturalizing 
the Jews in Great Britain,” <|c. This he dedicated ra- 

Cher ironically, to the Archbishops and Bishops of both 
Pi winces. 

In 1717, he published the State Anatomy of Great 
Britain. This was answered by Dr. Fiddes , chaplain 
to the Earl of Oxford, and by Daniel De Foe. In reply, 
Mr. Toland published the second part of the State 

\ ' , 

In 1717, he published Nazaremis. In this treatise, 
according to Mr. Toland , the original plan of Chris¬ 
tianity was this : M that the Jews, though associating 
with the converted Gentiles, and acknowledging them 
for brethren, were still to observe their own laws ; and 
that the Gentiles, who became so far Jews as to ac¬ 
knowledge one God, were not, however, to observe 


the Jewish law : but, that both of them were to be e- 
ver after, united into one body or fellowship, in that 
part of Christianity particularly, which, better than all 
the preparative purgations of the philosophers, requires 
the sanctification of the Spirit, and the renova¬ 
tion of the inward man ; and wherein alone, the Jew 
and the Gentile; the Civilized and and the Barbarian; 
the Free-man and the Bond-slave, are all in on e Christ, 
however differing in other circumstances.” This trea¬ 
tise was animadverted on, by Messrs. Mangey and 
Paterson ; and by Dr. Brett 

This year, he also edited a pamphlet, called the 
Destiny of Rome ; or, the speedy and final destruction 


of the Pope, founded partly on natural and political 
reasons, and partly on the famous prophecy of St. Mci- 
lachy, Archbishop of Armagh, in the thirteenth 
century, c§e. 


In the beginning of 1720, Dr. Hare published the 
fourth edition of his Visitation Sermon ; and, ani¬ 
madverted on Christianity not Mysterious ; asserting 
that Mr. Toland often quoted Mr. Locke, to support 
notions he never dreamed of. As this assertion was 
totally groundless, the doctor had Mr. Locke, and Mr. 
Toland on his back at once. Finding his ground un¬ 
tenable, he published the following advertisement in 
the Daily Courant. 

“ Just published, the fourth Edition of 

“ The Dean of Worcester’s Visitation Sermon. In 
« the Postscript, line ninth from the end, instead of, is 
6 ’ often quoted, read, makes great use of Mr , Locke's 
“ principles. 

« London, Feb. 1 st. 1720.” 

Thus the reverend doctor had the contemptible 
meanness to shelter a bare-faced falsehood, under the 
subterfuge of a typographical error. 

This pitiful conduct of Dr. Hare, produced from 
Mr.Toland, a pamphlet, entitled a Short Essay on the 
Art of Lying ; or, a Defence of a Reverend Dignitary # 




who suffers under the Persecution of Mi*. Toland for a 


About this time, he published Pantheislicon; sive 
formula celehrandce Sodalitatis Socraticce, &c. Some 
of his enemies pretended this tract was written to ri¬ 
dicule the Romish, and Episcopal Liturgies ; and, as 
it was made up of Responses, Lessons, a Philosophical 
Canon, and aLitany; and, the whole written botli in red 
and black ink, their opinion is perhaps well founded. 
Mr. Toland was, at all times, a rigid advocate for the 
primitive apostolic simplicity of the Christian religion. 
This tract, instead of being a proof of our author’s 
heterodoxy, is so far the reverse, that had John Knox 
been alive, I am persuaded, he would have thanked 
him for it. To this treatise, he prefixed the name of 
Janus Junius Eoganesius, which, though it was his 
real Christian name, and the name of his country, was 
as good a disguise as he could have invented. 

A Bill having been introduced into the House of 
Lords, to make the parliament of Ireland more de¬ 
pendent on that of Great Britain, Mr. Toland wrote a 
Treatise in opposition to that measure. 

Some time after, he published a book, entitled Te- 
tradymus : containing 1 mo. Hodegus ; or, the Pillar of 
cloud and fire that guided the Israelites in the wilder¬ 
ness, not miraculous, <§c. 2do. Clydophorus ; or 
the Exoteric and Esoteric Philosophy of the antients, 

<%c. 3tio. Hypatia *, or, the History of a most 
beautiful, most virtuous, most learned, and every way 
accomplished young Lady, who was torn to pieces by 
the clergy of Alexandria, to gratify the pride, emula¬ 
tion and cruelty of their Archbishop Cyril, commonly, 
blit, undeservedly styled St. Cyril. 4 to. Man- 

gdneutes ; or, a Defence of Nazarenus, addressed to 
the right Rev. John Lord, Bishop of London, against 
his Lordship’s Chaplin Dr. Mangey, his dedicator Mr. 
Paterson, and the Rev. Dr. Brett, once belonging to 
his Lordship’s church. 

In this last Address to the Bishop of London, Mr. 
Poland, states the injurious treatment he had received 
from Dr. Hare at considerable length; and, concludes 
with the following account of his own conduct, and 
sentiments : “ Notwithstanding, says he, the imputa¬ 
tions of Heresy and Infidelity, so often published by 
the clergy, as lately, in the vauntingest manner, by 
one not unknown to you ; the whiding and the igno¬ 
rant, being ever the most arrogant and confident, I as¬ 
sure your Lordship, that the purity of religion, and 
the prosperity of the state have ever been my chiefest 
aim. Civil liberty, and religious toleration, as the 
most desirable things in this world; the most condu¬ 
cing to peace, plenty, knowledge, and every kind of 
happiness, have been the two main objects of all my 
writings. But, as by liberty, I did not mean licenti¬ 
ousness ; so by toleration , I did not mean indifference, 


and much less an approbation of every religion I could 
suffer. To be more particular, I "solemnly profess to 
your Lordship, that the religion taught by Jesus Christ 
and his Apostles, but not as since corrupted by the sub¬ 
tractions, additions, and other alterations of any par¬ 
ticular man, or company of men, is that which I in¬ 
finitely prefer before all others. I do over and over a- 
gain, repeat Christ and his Apostles, exclusive of either 
oral traditions, or the determinations of synods, adding 
what I declared before to the world, that religion as it 
came from their hands, was no less plain and pure, 
than useful and instructive; and that, as being the busi¬ 
ness of every man, it was equally understood by every 
body. For, Christ did not institute one Religion for 
the learned and another for the vulgar,” <%<?. 

In 1721,Dr.Hare published a Book, entitled “Scrip¬ 
ture Truth vindicated ; from the mi srepresentations of 
tiie Lord Bishop of Bangor,” §c .; and, in the Preface, 
takes occasion to observe, that none are prevented from 
settling in Carolina, but down-right Atheists, such as 
Mr. Toland ; and most unjustly asserts, that in some 
copies of the Pantheistic on, he inserted a prayer to the 
following effect : Omnipotens et sempiterne JBacche '; 
qui humanam societatem maxime in bibendo constihdsti; 
concede propitius, ut istorum capita, qui hesterna com- 
potatione gravantur, hodierna leventur ; idque jxat per 
pocula poculoTum. Amen. i. e. “ Omnipotent and e- 
rerlasting Bacchus, who foundedst human society 


principally by drinking, propitiously grant, that the 
heads of those, which are made heavy by yesterday’s 
drinking, may be lightened by this day’s, and that by 
bumper after bumper. Amen.” 

M. Maizeuz, a Frenchman, and Mr. Toland’s bio¬ 
grapher assures us, that Mr. Toland never dreamed of 
such a matter. He assures us, that he knows the 
author, but forbears to mention him, on account of his 
profession. Indeed, there can hardly be a doubt, that 
Dr. Hare himself was the author. 

The same year, Mr. Toland published Letters from 

the Earl of Shaftesbury to the Lord Viscount Moles- 
worth ; as also, two Letters written by Sir George 

Cropsley. ■ 

Mr. Toland had these four years past lived at Putney, 
whence he could conveniently go to London, and re¬ 
turn the same day. Being in town about the middle 
of December, he found himself very ill, and an ignorant 
physician, by his improper prescriptions, very much in¬ 
creased his disorder. But, he made a shift to return 
to Putney, where he grew better, and entertained 
some hopes of recovery. In the interval, he wrote two 
Treatises ; the one, entitled. Physic without Physicans; 
and the other, The Danger of mercenary Parliaments. 
This last, he did not live to finish ; for, he died on 
Sunday the 11th March, 1722, about four o’clock in 
ftye' morning. He behaved himself throughout the * 

whole course of his sickness, with the greatest calm¬ 
ness and fortitude ; and, looked on death without the 
least perturbation of mind ; biding’ farewell to those 
about him, and telling them, he was going to fall a- 

A few days before bis death, lie composed the following 


H. S. E. 


Qui, in Hibernia prope Deriam natus, 

In Scotia et Hibernia Studuit, 

Quod Oxonii quoque fecit Adolescent ; 

Atque Germania plus semel petita, 

Virilem circa Londinum transegit cetatem. 

Omnium Literarum excultor 

Ac Linguarum plus decern Sciens. 

Veritatis Propugnator 

Libertatis Assertor: 

Nullius autem Sectator, cmt Client, 

Nec minis, nee malis est inflexus. 

Quin, quam elegit, viam perageret, 

Utili honestum anteferens. 

Spiritus cum JEthereo Patre, 

A Quo prodiit olim, conjungitur : 

Corpus item naturae cedens, 

In Materno greemio reponitur. 

Ipse vero externum est resurrecturus , 

At Idem futurus TOLANDUS nunquam. 

Nalus Nov. SO. 1670 . 

Ccetera ex Scriptis pete. 




“ Here lies John Toland, bom in Ireland, near 
“ Londonderry, who in his youth studied in Scotland, 
“ Ireland, and at Oxford ; and, having repeatedly vi- 
<£ sited Germany, spent his manhood about London. 
<s He was a cultivator of every kind of Learning ; and 
“ skilled in more than ten languages : the champion 
“ of Truth, and the assertor of Liberty, but the fol- 
“ lower or client of none ; nor was he ever swayed 
“ either by menaces or misfortunes, from pursuing the 
“ path, which he chalked out to himself, uniformly 
“ preferring his integrity to his interest. His Spirit 
“ is re-united to his heavenly Father, from whom it 
“ formerly proceeded ; his Body yielding to Nature, 
“ is also re-placed in the Bosom of the Earth. He 
“ himself will undoubtedly arise to Eternal Life, but 
cc will never be the same Toland. Bom 30th N o« 
ct vember, 1670. Seek the rest from his Writings” 


Mr. Toland’s belief, that he will never he the same 
Toland after the resurrection, is not heterodox, though 
bis enemies have not failed to represent it in this light. 
The gospel uniformly declares, that a considerable 
change will take place in the human body at the re¬ 
surrection ; and, that we shall all be changed. Mr. 
Toland must therefore not be considered as here de¬ 
nying his absolute future Identity, but merely as allud¬ 
ing to that partial change which the Scriptures fe. 
clearly point out. 



Hitherto, I have almost implicity followed M, 
Maizeuz ; and, as far as the nature of this Abstract 
would admit, have adopted his own words, being well 
aware, that by so doing, no body will accuse me of 
partiality to Mr.Toland. M. Maizeuz was a French¬ 
man, a friend to Popery and arbitrary power,—he did 
not undertake our Author’s Biography voluntarily, 
nor from any motive of respect* On the contrary, when 
requested by a friend of our author’s, (who was at the 
same time the Frenchman’s benefactor,) to undertake 
the task, he positively declined it. A second request 
more peremptory than the first had the desired effect., 
M. Maizeuz has not in one single instance, made the 
slighest allusion to the complexion of the times in 
which Mr.Toland lived, without a knowledge of which, 
it is impossible duely to appreciate either his princi¬ 
ples, or the scope of his writings. He seems, however, 
to have been under great obligations to his benefactor, 
and knowing him to be a friend of our deceased au¬ 
thor, was obliged to confine iiimself to matters of fact. 
But, what will place the conduct of M. Maizeuz in a 
very unfavourable point of view, is, that when Mr. To- 
land’s works Avere printed at London, in 1726. M. 
Maizeuz not only with-held his own name from his 
life, but also, that of the gentleman, at whose request 
it was written. 

This gentleman, having been guilty of these unpar¬ 
donable omissions, I shall endeavour, as concisely as 
possible, to remedy the defect, and shall principally 

confine myself to Mr.Toland’s Christianity not Mysteri¬ 
ous, which has made so much noise in the world. 

Previous to the Reformation, the infallibility of the 
Pope, in spiritual ; and, the divine right of Kings in 
temporal matters, were carried to the very highest 
pitch, and the servile, ignorant and debased state, to 
which mankind were reduced, by the operation of these 
abominable doctrines, is too well known to need any 
comment. At the dawn of the Reformation, a better 
order of things began. The Scriptures were read and 
studied, and the monstrous impositions, for more than 
ten centuries, practised on mankind clearly displayed. 
Neither the infallibility of the Pope, nor the divine 
right of Kings, could stand the criterion either of rea¬ 
son, or Revelation ; and, both were discarded. After 
a long struggle, during more than a century and a 
half, our civil and religious liberties were effectually 
secured, by the glorious Revolution. That the Whig 
interest placed King William on the throne ; and, that 
the Tory-party, to a man, were attached to the cause 
of the abdicated Monarch, are facts that can admit of 
no dispute. From the date of the Revolution, the 
Torys, as far as regarded state affairs, were obliged to 
alter their tone. To have declaimed in support of the 
Indefeasible, Hereditary right of Kings, would have 
been a direct insult to King William, who had en¬ 
croached on this right, and might have been construed 
high-treason. The Toleration Act secured all deno¬ 
minations in the free exercise of their religion. This 


was another source of discontent to the Torys, who 
had uniformly aimed at religious and exclusive supre¬ 

That the Torys thwarted King william’s measures, 
meditated the restoration of the abdicated Monarch ; 
and, shook the stability of the Protestant succession, 
for more than half a century, needs no demonstration. 
Their absurd tenets, respecting civil and religious ty¬ 
ranny were founded on a perversion of the Sacred Re¬ 
cords. With the exception of the Whig-party, all 
ranks of mankind were kept in profound ignorance of 
the Divine Writings, under pretence of mystery and un¬ 
intelligibility. By these means, the bulk of mankind 
were blindly led, without using their senses, or theft 

To drive arbitrary power from this last resource, 
Mr. Toland wrote Christianity not Mysterious. 
In this Treatise he clearly proves, that man’s reason, 
was not given him, in order to lie dormant. That if 
he was allowed to judge forhimself in theordinary occur¬ 
rences of life ; and respecting the Phenomena of Na¬ 
ture, he cannot be denied the same privilege, as far as 
respects matters of Religion, and the principles of 
Christanity. Mr. Toland was well aware, that if he 
could once induce mankind to read the Scriptures with 
impartial attention, no man’s interpretation on earth 
could mislead them. ,' % *1 jjPS !: 

However convenient this mode of conduct might be 

for the interests of true religion, it was in fact, a death 
blow to Popery, which had reared its monstrous fab¬ 
ric on ignorance, mystery and superstition. The gos¬ 
pel was by the Popish priests, as carefully kept from 
the vulgar, as if it had contained the antidote , instead 
of the means of their salvation. When Mr. Toland 
wrote, not one-fourth of the population of the British 
empire were allowed to read the Scriptures; and, even 
at the present day, nearly five millions are denied this- 
important privilege. 

Had Christianity been so intricate and mysterious, 
as designing and interested men have represented it, 
certainly the twelve Apostles were very ill calculated 
to propagate the Gospel. In many Popish countries, 
not one of them would have been considered qualified 
to read or explain a single verse of it. That the con¬ 
duct of Christ, and of his pretended Vicegerents, has 
been widely different, I readily admit, but, the simple 
question is this, “ Whether Christ was, or was not, 
best qualified to judge of the nature of the Christian 
System, and the instruments best calculated to pro¬ 
mote it ?” 

When we hate duly weighed Mr. Toland’s definition 
of the word Mystery ; Christianity not Mysteri¬ 
ous, means no more, than, Christianity intelligible to all 
Christians. This was certainly sapping the very foun¬ 
dations of Papal and Tyrannical Power, by asserting 
that every Christian had,a right to read and under,- 

stand the Gospel, That the Treatise was considered 
by the adherents of the abdicated Monarch, as having 
this tendency, is evident from this circumstance, that 
Mr. Toland’s antagonists, were to a man, ad vocates for 
arbitrary power; and, religious intolerance. The 
Church of Scotland, has at all times been forward to 
stem the torrent of impiety and irreligion ; but, it is 
not known that any one of that venerable Body, ever ob¬ 
jected to Mr. Toland’s Orthodoxy ; a circumstance 
which could not have happened, had his writings been 
hostile to true religion. On this head, I shall only 
add, that the same party which persecuted Mr. To- 
land, would have treated King William, and the 
Church of Scotland with as little ceremony, had 
they stood as unprotected as the illustrious Subject of 
these Memoirs, 

Mr. Toland’s Amyntor, and his Pantheistic on, have 
been already taken notice of. The first, proved that 
King Charles was not the author of Icon Basilike ; 
and the last, is supposed to contain a sarcastical allu¬ 
sion to the Romish and Episcopal Liturgies ;—The 
torrent of abuse consequently poured on him, by the 
Torys, is no more than might have been naturally 

His Biographer has descended so low, as to inform 
us, that Mr. Toland was sometimes under pecuniary 
difficulties, and as running in debt for his Wigs, <|c. 
But, as this was a charge of the same nature, with his 


Deism, Atheism, Mahometanism, Pantheism, Illegiti¬ 
macy, <%c. I shall not detain the Reader with a confu¬ 
tation of it. 


It is difficult to determine in what department of 
literature this great man most excelled. He seems, 
to have been a kind of universal genius.—In contro¬ 
versy he was irresistible; and, at the very moment when 
his adversaries thought they had confuted him, they 
found they had only furnished materials for their own 
degradation.—-He was skilled in more than ten Lan¬ 
guages, and the Celtic was his native tongue.—Educat¬ 
ed in the grossest superstition of Popery, at the early 
age of sixteen, he became aConvert to Presbyterianism, 
and remained steadily attached to it, till the hour of his 
death.—Popery, Prelacy, and arbitary Power he utter¬ 
ly detested ; and, on every occasion, resisted them to 

to the utmost of his power.--To the Revolution in 

1689, he was a warm and steady friend.—-Real and un¬ 
affected piety, and the Church of Scotland, which he 
thought bore the greatest resemblance to the primitive 
simplicity of the Apostlic times, always found in him, 
an able, and inflexible advocate.—Though his pen was 
his estate, yet he never prostituted it to serve the inter¬ 
est of his party, at the expence of truth.-—There was 
interwoven with his whole frame, a high degree of stub¬ 
born and inexorable integrity, which totally unfitted 
' him for the tool of a party ; and, like poor Yorick, he 


Invariably called things by their right names, regard¬ 
less of the consequences.—-There was not in his whole 
composition, one single grain of that useful quality 
which Swift calls modern discretion. Like an impreg¬ 
nable rock in the midst of the tempestuous ocean, he 
stood immoveable, against all his assailants ; and, his 
calm, dignified answers, in reply to their most viru¬ 
lent and unmerited calumnies, equally characterize the 
Hero, the Philosopher, and the Christian.—To his trans- 
Cendant literary abilities even the most inveterate of 

his enemies have paid the most ample tribute of re- 


spect.—His Latin compositions, in point of classical 
purity, have not been excelled, even by Cicero him¬ 
self. To him the Celtic tribes are highly indebted fox 
that unequalled production, the History of the 
Droids.- —Pinkerton, as often as his Gothic Mania led 
him to controvert any of Toland’s positions, respecting 
the Druids and Celts, is obliged to shrink from the con¬ 
test.—Dr. Smith with a non-candour, for which, even 
his best friends must blush, has borrowed the whole of 
Toland’s materials, for his History of the Druids ; not 
only without making any acknowledgement, but, with 
a studied and deliberate design to conceal the pla¬ 
giarism. Wherever Mr. Toland enters into detail, Dr. 
Smith is concise ; and, wherever Mr. Toland is concise. 
Dr. Smith enters into detail. The important history 
of Aharis, the Hyperborean Priest of the Sun, is dis¬ 
missed by Dr. Smith in a few words ; whereas, in Mr, 
Toland’s history, it takes up several pages,-™——In the 



space Of twenty-five years, Mr. Toiand published about 
one hundred different works ; some of them on the 
most intricate subjects; but, the far greater part, on con¬ 
troversial matters, in opposition to those, who wished to 
restore the abdicated Monarch, and re-establish arbitra¬ 
ry power, and religious intolerance. As it was the first, 
soitwas the last effort of his pen, to render Civil Govern¬ 
ment consistent with the unalienable rights of mankind; 
and, to reduce Christianity to that pure, simple, and un- 
pompous system, which Christ and his Apostles e- 
stablished. It has often been objected to John Knox , 
as well as Mr. Toiand, that he was a stubborn, ill- 
bred fellow. But, when the Augcean Stable of Civil 
and Religious corruptions is to be cleansed, the Her¬ 
culean labour, requires Herculean instruments. Per¬ 
haps the delicacy and refinement of the present day, 
might have shrunk from the arduous task, and left the 
desireable work not only unfinished, but unattempted, 
Toland’s fame has triumphed over all opposition; and, 
will be transmitted to the. latest posterity. That very 
party which branded him, when alive, with the Epithets 

<i ■>*' 

of Atheist, Infidel, Deist, Mahometan, &c. have now 
discovered, that he was only tinctured with Socinian- 
ism ; and, in less than fifty years, the same party will 
discover, that he was a rigid Presbyterian, —peace to 

his Manes. -It were ardently to be wished, that the 

British Empire, in all great and critical emergencies,, 
may possess many Christians, like John To land. 





Some men, my Lord, from a natural greatness of 
soul, and others from a sense of the want of learning 
in themselves, or the advantages of it in others, have 
many times liberally contributed towards the ad¬ 
vancement of letters. But when they, whose ex¬ 
cellent natural parts are richly cultivated by sound 
literature, undertake the protection of the Muses, wri¬ 
ters feel a double encouragement; both as they are hap¬ 
pily enabled to perfect their studies, and as their Pa¬ 
trons are true judges of their performances. ’Tis from 
this consideration alone (abstracted. My Lord, from all 
that you have already done, or may hereafter deserve 
from your country, by an unshaken love of liberty) that 
I presume to acquaint your Lordship with a design, 
which I form’d several years ago at Oxford, and which 
I have ever since kept in view; collecting, as occasion 
presented, whatever might any way tend to the advan¬ 
tage or perfection of it. ’Tis to write the History of 
the Druids , containing an account of the ancient Cel¬ 
tic Religion and Literature; and concerning which I 
beg your patience for a little while. Tho’ this be a 



subject, that will be naturally entertaining to the curi¬ 
ous in every place ; yet it does more particularly con¬ 
cern the inhabitants of antient Gaule, (now France, 
Flanders, the Alpine regions, and Lombardy) and of 
all the British Islands, whose antiquities are here part¬ 
ly explain’d and illustrated, partly vindicated and re¬ 
stor’d. It will sound somewhat oddly, at first hear¬ 
ing, that a man born in the most northern (1) Peninsula 

(1) This peninsula is Inis-Eogain , vulgarly Enis-owen 9 
in whose Isthmus stands the city of Londonderry, itself a 
peninsula, and, if the tradition be true, originally a famous 
Grove and School of the Druids, Hence comes the very 
name Doire, corruptly pronounced Derry , which in Irish 
signifies a Grove , particularly of Oaks. The great Colum- 
ba changed it into a College for Monks (who in his time 
were retir’d Laymen, that lived by the labour of their 
hands) as most commonly the sacred places of the Hea¬ 
thens, if pleasant or commodious, were converted to the 
like use by the Christians after their own manner. This 
Derry is the Roboretum or * Campus roborum, mentioned by 
Bede in his Ecclesiastical History : but not Ardmacha , now 
Armagh , in the same province of Ulster, as many have 
erroneously conceived ; nor yet Durramli , now Burroughs 
in that of Leinster, as some have no less groundlesly fan¬ 
cied, among whom Archbishop Usheu. Dearmach is com¬ 
pounded of Bair an oak and the ancient word Mach (now 
Machaire) afield. They who did not know so much, have 
imagined it from the mere sound to be Armagh , which, far 
from Campus robor um , signifies the height or mount of Mac h a » 
(surnamed Mongruadh or redhair’d) a Queen of Ireland, and 
the only woman that ever sway’d the sovereign sceptre of 
that kingdom. But Armagh never was a monastery found¬ 
ed by Columba, who in Bede’s time was called f Co- 
buim-ctele, as he’s by the Irish to this day: whereas it 
v/as from the monasteries of Derry and I-colmkill (which 

* Fecerat autem (Columba) prius quam in Britaimiam veniret loonasterram nobtle 
In Hibernia, quod a copia roborum Dearmach lingua Scoturum, hoe esi campus ro* 
borum , vocatur. Hist, Ecrles. lib. S, cap. 4. 

t Qui, videlicet Columba, nunc a nonnullis, compogito a Cdla 4 Cdnmb&Qto* 
Kiinq CotUMCELLJ vocatur. Ibid, lib . 5. cap. 10, 


of Ireland, shou’d undertake to set the antiquities 
of Gaule in a clearer light than any one has hitherto 
done. But when ’tis consider’d, that, over and a- 
bove what he knows in common, relating to the Druids, 
with the learned of the French nation, (whose works 
he constantly reads with uncommon esteem) he has 
also certain other advantages, which none of those 
writers have ever had : when this, I say, is consider’d, 
then all the wonder about this affair will instantly cease. 
Yet let it be still remember’d, that whatever accom¬ 
plishment may consist in the knowledge of languages, 
no language is really valuable, but as far as it serves 
to converse with the living, or to learn from the dead; 
and therefore were that knowledge of times and things 
contain’d in Lapponian, which we draw from the Greec, 

* ' l 

and that this last were as barren as the first: I shou’d 

then study Lapponian, and neglect Greec ; for all its 


superiority over most tongues, in respect of sonorous 
pronunciation, copiousness of words, and variety of ex¬ 
pression. But as the profound ignorance and slavery of 
the present Greecs does not hinder, but that their an¬ 
cestors were the most learned, polite, and free of all 
European nations ; so no revolution that has befallen 
any or all of the Celtic colonies, can be a just prejin 

last, though the second erected, became the first in digni¬ 
ty) that ail the other monasteries dedicated to Columba, 
whether in Scotland or Ireland, were so many colonies. 
This is attested by the just mentioned f Bede, no Igss thaa 
by ali the Irish Annalists since their several foundations. 

+ Ex quo utroque monasterio perphmnia exinde monasteria, per discipulos e ns, 
Jc in Britannia & in Hibernia propag’ata sunt; in quibus omnibus idem monast>. 
rium insulauum, in quo ipse requiescit ccrpore,, principals m tenet, (hid, ilk. % -v»r. . 


dice against the truly antient and undoubted monu¬ 

ments they may be able to furnish, towards improving 
or restoring any point of Learning. Whether there be 
any such monuments or not, and how far useful or 
agreeable, will in the following sheets appear. 

II. Among those institutions which dre thought to 
be irrecoverably lost, one is that of the Druids ; of 
which the learned have hitherto known nothing, but 
by some fragments concerning them out of the Greec 
and Roman authors. Nor are such fragments always 
intelligible, because never explain’d by any of those, 
who were skill’d in the Celtic dialects, which are now 
principally six; namely Welsh or the insular British, 
Cornish almost extinct, Armorican or French British, 
Irish the least corrupted, Manks or the language 
of the Isle of Man; and Earse or Highland Irish, 
spoken also in all the western Hands of Scotland. 
These, having severally their own dialects, are, with 
respect to each other and the old Celtic of Gaule, as the 
several dialects of the German language and Low 
Dutch, the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Islandic ; 
which are all descendants of their common mother, 
the Gothic.'' Not that ever such a thing as a pure Go¬ 
thic or Celtic language either did or cou’d exist in any 
considerable region without dialects, no more than pure 
elements : but by such an original language is meant 
the common root and trunk, the primitive words, and 
especially the peculiar construction that runs thro’ 
all the branches; whereby they are intelligible to each 
other, or may easily become so, but different from all 




kinds of speech besides. Thus the Celtic and the Gothic, 
which have been often taken for each other, are as dif- 
frent as Latin and Arabic. In like manner we con¬ 
ceive of the several idioms of the Greec language for¬ 
merly, in Greece itself properly so call’d, in Mace¬ 
donia, in Crete and the Hands of the Archipelago, in 
Asia, Rhodes, part of Italy, in Sicily, and Marseilles ; 
and at this time of the Sclavonian language, whose 
dialects not only prevail in Russia, Poland, Bohemia, 
Carinthia, and Servia, but in a great many other places, 
too tedious to recite. But of this subject we shall 
treat professedly in a (2) Dissertation, to be annex’d 
to the work, whereof I am giving your lordship an ac¬ 
count. Neither shall I in this Specimen dwell on some 
things, whereof I shall principally and largely treat in 
the designed History ; I mean the Philosophy of the 
Druids concerning the Gods, human Souls, Nature in 
general, and in particular the heavenly Bodies, their 
magnitudes, motions, distances, and duration ; where¬ 
of CjEsar,Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, Pomponius Me¬ 
la, and Ammianus Marcellinus write more specially 
than others. These subjects, I say, will be copiously 
handled and commented in my History. In the mean 
time I do assure you, My Lord, from all authors, that 
no Heathen Priesthood ever came up to the perfection 
of the Druidical, which was far more exquisite than 
any other such system ; as having been much better 
calculated to beget ignorance, and an implicit disposi- 

(2) A Dissertation concerning the Celtic Language 
md Colonies, ° 


4 S' 

■•■m M n :■ mtxctbr 

fcion m the people, no less than to procure power and 
profit to the priests, which is one grand difference be¬ 
tween the true worship and the false. This Western 
Priesthood did infinitely exceed that of Zoroaster, 
and all the Eastern sacred policy : so that, the His¬ 
tory of the Druids, in short, is, the complete History of 
Priestcraft , with all its reasons and ressorts ; which to 
distinguish accurately from right religion, is not only 
the interest of all wise princes and states, but likewise 
does especially concern the tranquillity and happiness 
of every private person. 1 have used the word Priest¬ 
craft here on purpose, not merely as being the best ex- 
pression for the designed abuse, and reverse of religion, 
(for superstition is only religion misunderstood) but al¬ 
so because the coining of the very word was occasion¬ 
ed by the Druids : since the Anglo-Saxons having 
learnt the w r ord Dry (3) from the Irish and Britons 
for a Magician, did very appositely call Magic or In- 
chantment Drycrceft (4); as being nothing else but 
trick and illusion, the fourbery of Priests and their 

III. Now, this Institution of the Druids I think 
myself, without any consciousness of vanity, much 
abler to retrieve (as having infinitely better helps in 
many respects, of which, before I have done) than Dr. 
Hyde was to restore the knowledge of the ancient 
Persian Literature and Religion ; which ypt he left 
imperfect for w r ant of due encouragement, as I have 

(3) Pronounced as Dree in English. 

(4) Dry magus, Drycrceft incantatio, JElfric. in Glossary 



shown in the first chapter of Nazar enus. From un¬ 
doubted Celtic monuments, join’d to the Greec and 
Roman remains, I can display the order of their Hier¬ 
archy, from the Arch-Druid down to the meanest of 
their four orders of Priests* Of these degrees, the 
Arch-Druid excepted, there’s little to be found in the 
Classic authors, that treat of the Druids : but very 
much and very particularly, in the Celtic writings and 
monuments* For many reasons their History is most 
interesting and entertaining : I mean, as on the one 
hand we consider them seducing their followers, and 
as on the other hand we learn not to be so deceiv’d. 
They dextrously led the people blindfold, by commit* 
ting no part of their Theology or Philosophy to writ¬ 
ing/ tho’ great writers in other respects ; but their 
dictates were only hereditarily convey’d from masters 
to disciples by traditionary Poems, interpretable (con¬ 
sequently) and alterable as they shou’d see convenient : 
which is a much more effectual way, than locking up a 
book from the Laity, that, one way or other, is sure to 
come first or last to their knowledge, and easy perhaps 
to be turn’d against the Priests. The Druids, as may 
be seen in the 6th book of Caesar’s Commentaries 9 \ 
drew the decision of all controversies of Law and 
Equity to themselves, the distribution of all punish¬ 
ments and rewards; from the power that was first 
given, or afterwards assumed by them, of determining 
matters of Ceremony and Religion. Most terrible 
were the effects of the Dniidlcal (5) Excommunication 

(5) If the learned reader, who knows any of the passages, 
or the unlearned reader who wants authorities for proving: 



. . ..-” ff iii 1 i ii ibi —rr-rm- r nt~r ; - r~iTnwniMM iM i n» i w i im . .. m i . 


on any man, that did not implicifty follow their di¬ 
rections, and,, submit to their decrees : not only to the 
excluding of private persons from all benefits of society* 
and even from society itself; but also to the depos¬ 
ing of the princes who did mot please them, and often 
devoting, them to destruction., Nor less intolerable' 
was • their power of engaging the nation in wax, or of 
making a disadvantageous mnd dishonourable peace ; 
while' they Kadi' the ■ address to get themselves ex¬ 
empted from.: bearing- arms,, paying taxes, or contribut¬ 
ing anything to? the public but charms:.- and yet ten 
have their, parsops- reputed sacred and inviolable, by 
those even .of the contrary side, which veneration how¬ 
ever was not -always . strictly paid. These privileges- 
allur’d great numbers:-to enter into their communities,, 
for such: Socialities: or Fraternities they had and to 
take' oh them- the Druidical profession, to be per¬ 
fect in which,. did sometimes cost; them twenty years • 
study 6 . Nor ought this to seem- a wonder, since to ar¬ 
rive at perfection in Sophistry requires a long habit, as 
well' as in juggling, in which last they were very ex- 

the following assertions, should wonder! do not always cite 
them; let it be known to both, that as in this Specimen I 
commonly touch but the heads of things (and not of all 
things neither) so I would not crowd the margin with long 
passages, nor yet curtail what in my History shall be pro¬ 
duced at large: and dr ere fore all the following citations (the 
original manner of writing Celtic words excepted) are ei¬ 
ther samples of the quotations! shall give, or proofs of what 
I would not for a moment have suspected to be precarious¬ 
ly advanced, or, finally, for the better understanding of 
certain matters which come in by way of digression or il¬ 
lustration* Otherwise they wou’d not be necessary m a 
mere Specimen^ though in a finished work indispensable,- 



pert: but to be masters of both, and withal to learn 
the art of managing the mol), which is vulgarly call- 
'■ed leading the people by die nose , demands abundant 
study and exercise. 

IV*. The children of the several Kings, with those of 
all the nobility, were committed to the tuition of the 
Druids, whereby they had an opportunity (contrary 
to all good politics) of moulding and framing them to 
•their own private interests and purposes ; considering 
which direction of Education, Patric , had they been a 
landed clergy , woird not have found the conversion of 
.Ireland so easy atask. So easy in deed it wa s, that the Hea¬ 
then monarch Laogirius (who,*as some assert, was ne¬ 
ver himself converted) and all the provincial kings, 
-granted to every man free liberty of preaching and 
professing Christianity. So that, as Giraldus Cam - 
brensis remarks, this is the only country of Christians, 
where nobody was obliged to suffer (6) Martyrdom for 
the gospel . This justice therefore i woifd do to Ire¬ 
land, even if it had not been my country, viz. to main¬ 
tain that this tolerating principle, this impartial liber¬ 
ty (ever since unexampled there as well as elsewhere, 
China excepted) is a far greater honour to it, than 
’whatever thing most glorious -or magnificent can be 

(6) Omnes sancti tench istius confessores sunt, &: nullus 
martyr ; quod in alio regno Christiana difficile erit invenire. 
Mir uni itaque quod gens crttdelissima % sanguinis sUibundu* 
tides ah antiquo fundata § semper tepidissima , pro Chrisfi 
ccelesia corona martyrii nulla . Non igitur inventus cst in 
part thus istis , qui ccclesiae surgentis fundament a sanguinis 
effusione cemehtaret : non fait , qui faceret hoc bonum ; non 
fuel usque ad ununu Topograph* Hibern, Distinct. 3, cap. eg. 



said of any other country in the world. Girald on the 
contrary (as in his days they were wont to over-rate 
Martyrdom, Celibacy, and the like, much above the 
positive duties' of religion) thinks it a reproach Xo the 
Irish, That none of their Saints cemented the founda¬ 
tions of the growing Church with their blood , all of them 
being Confessors , (says he,) and not one able to boast of the 
crown of Martyrdom. Rut who sees not the vanity 
and absurdity of this charge ? It is blaming the princes 
and people for their reasonableness, moderation and 
humanity ; as it is taxing the new Converts for not 
seditiously provoking them to persecute, and for not 
madly running themselves to a voluntary death, which 
was the unjustifiable conduct of many elsewhere in the 
primitive times of Christianity. Mis on much better 
grounds, tho’ with a childish and nauseous jingle, 
that he accuses the Irish Clergy of his own time : and 
so far am I from being an enemy to the clergy, that 
I heartily wish the like could not be said of any clergy, 
whether there, or here, or elsewhere, from that time to 
this. Well then : what is it? They are Pastors , (saysf 
he) (7), who seek not to feed, but to be fed : Prelates , 
who desire not to profit , but to preside : Bishops , who 
embrace not the nature , but the name ; not the burden 9 
but the bravery of their profession . This, My Lord, X 
reckon to be no digression from my subject, since what 
little opposition there happen’d to be in Ireland to 

(?) Sunt enim pastores, qui non pascere quaerunt } sed pa~ 
sci: sunt praelati , qui non prod esse cupiunt , sed prceesse : 
sunt episcopi , qui non omen , sed nomen ; non onus , sed hono - 
e um amplectuniur . Id. Ibid. 



-— i' -—■—-— - ■ " ~ * BW ? ^ K ^ l,MiW ! lllliaitMIIBIia * >l|8a i:aai:T?: ^ ; '- a ? 8a ??^ a,a! ** laa ^^ 

Christianity, was wholly made by the Druids, or at 
their instignation : and that when they perceiv'd this 
new religion like to prevail, none came into it speedier, 
or made a more advantageous figure in it, than they. 
The Irish however have their Martyrologies (lest this 
shoird be objected by some trifler) but they are of such 
of their nation as suffered in other countries, or under 
the Heathen Danes in their own country, some hund¬ 
reds of years after the total conversion of it to Chris¬ 

V. Those advantages we have nam’d in the two last 
Sections, and many the like articles, with the Druids 
pretences to work miracles, to foretel events by 
augury and otherwise, to have familiar intercourse 
with the gods (highly confirm’d by calculating Ec¬ 
lipses) and a thousand impostures of the same (8) na¬ 
ture, I can by irrefragable authorities set in such a 
light, that all of the like kind may to every one ap¬ 
pear in as evident a view ; which, as I hinted before, 
cannot but be very serviceable both to religion and 
morality. For true religion does not consist in cun¬ 
ningly devis’d fables, in authority, dominion, or pomp ; 
but in spirit and in truth, in simplicity and social vir- 


tuc, in a filial love and reverence, not in a servile dread 
and terror of the Divinity. As the fundamental Law 
of a Historian is, daring to say whatever is true, and 

(8) The heads of the two last Sections, with these here 
mentioned (though conceived in few words) will yet. each 
make a separate chapter in the History ; this present Spe¬ 
cimen being chiefly intended for modern instances, as bv 
the sequel will appear. 



not daring to write any falsehood; neither being sway¬ 
ed by love or hatred, nor gain’d by favour or interest ; 
so he ought of course to be as a man of no time or 
country, of no sect or party ; which I hope the se¬ 
veral nations concern’d in this enquiry, will find to be 
particularly true of me. But if in clearing up antient 
sites and customs, with the origin and institution of 
certain religious or civil societies (long since extinct,) 
any communities or orders of men, now in being, should 
think themselves touched ; they ought not to impute 
it to design in the author, but to the conformity of 
things, if indeed there be any real resemblance : and, 
in case there be none at all, they should not make 
people apt to suspect there is, by crying out tSio' 
they are not hurt. I remember, when complaint was 
made against an honourable person (9), that, in treat¬ 
ing of the Heathen Priests, he had whipt some 
Christian Priests on their backs ; all the answer he 
made, was only asking’, What made them get up there? 
The benefit of which answer I claim before-hand to 
myself, without making or needing any other apology. 
Yet if the correspondence of any Priests with heaven 
be as slenderly grounded as that of the Druids, if their 
miracles be as fictitious and fraudulent, if their love of 
riches be as immoderate, if their thirs,t after power be as 
insatiable, and their exercise of it be as partial and ty- 
rannical over the Laity : then, I am not only content 
they should be touched, whether I thought of them or 
sot; but, that they shouldbe blastedtoo, without the pos- 

(9) Sir RoiiEiix ils w AKD. 



sibility of ever sprouting up again. For truth will but 
shine the brighter, the better its counterfeits are shewn: 
and all that I can do to shew my candour, is to leave 
the reader to make such applications himself, seldom 
making any for him ; since he that is neither clear¬ 
sighted, nor quick enough of conception to do so, may 
to as good purpose read the Fairy-tales as. this history. 

VI. Besides this impartial disposition, the com¬ 
petent knowledge I have of the Northern languages, 
dead and living (though I shall prove, that no Druids,, 
except such as towards their latter end fled thither for 
xefuge, or that went before with Celtic invaders or co¬ 
lonies, < were ever among the Gothic nations) I say, 
these languages will not a little contribute to the per¬ 
fection of my work, for a reason that may with more 
advantage appear in the book itself. But the know¬ 
ledge of the ancient Irish, which I learnt from my 
childhood, and of the other Celtic dialects, in all which 
X have printed books or manuscripts (not to speak of 
their vulgar Traditions); is absolutely necessary ; these 
having preserved numberless monuments concerning 
the Druids, that never hitherto have come to tbe hands 
of the. learned. For as the Institutions of the Druids 
were formerly better learnt in Britain, by Caesar said 
to be the native seat of this superstitious race, than in 
Gaule where yet it exceedingly flourished: so their 
memory is still best preserved in Ireland and the High¬ 
lands of Scotland, comprehending the Hebrides, Hebri¬ 
des, or Western Isles, among which is the Isle of Man ; 
where they continued long after their extermination 1 b 





Gaule and South-Britain, mostly by the Romans, but 
finally by the introduction of Christianity. Besides, 
that much of the Irish Heathen Mythology is still ex 
tant in verse, which gives such a lustre to this matter, 
and of course to the Greek and Roman Fragments 


concerning the Druids, as could not possibly be had 
any other way. 

VII. Thus (to give an example in the Philological part) 
the controversy among the Grammarians, whether they 
should write Druis or (10) Druida in the nominative 
case singular, can only be decided by the Irish writ¬ 
ings, as you may see demonstrated in the margin; 
where all Grammatical remarks shall be inserted a- 
mong the other Notes of the History , if they do not 
properly belong to the annexed Dissertation concerning 
the Celtic Language and Colonies . This conduct I ob¬ 
serve, to avoid any disagreeable stop or perplexity in 

(10) The Irish word for Druid is Dnii , corruptly Droi p 
and more corruptly Draoi ; yet all of the same sound, which 
in Etymologies is a great matter; and in the nominative 
plural it is Druidhe , whence comes no doubt the Greek 
and Latin Dr nicies ; as Druis in the singular was formed by 
only adding s to Drui, according to those nation’s way of 
terminating. But as these words in Irish as well as the 
British Drudion, are common to both sexes; so the Romans* 
according to their inflection, distinguished Druida for a 
She-Druid (which sort are mentioned by authors) where¬ 
of the nominative plural being Druidce , it ought by us t© 
,be used in that sense only: and so I conclude, that in our 
modern Latin compositions Druides and Druidce should 
not be confounded; as they have frequently been by the 
Transcribers of old writings, who mislead others. We are 
not to be moved therefore by reading Druidce in any Latin 
author in the masculine gender, or in the Greek writers* 
who certainly used it so. All equivocation at least will be 
thus taken away. 



the work itself, by uncouth words or of difficult pro¬ 
nunciation. For as every thing in the Universe is the 
Subject of writing, so an author ought to treat of every 
subject smoothly and correctly, as well as pertinently 
and perspicuosly : nor ought he to be void of ornament 
and Elegance, where his matter peculiarly requires it. 
Some things want a copious stile, some a concise; o- 
thers to be more floridly, others to be more plainly 
handl’d: but all to be properly, methodically, and 
handsomely exprest. Neglecting these particulars, is 
neglecting, and consequently affronting, the reader. 
Let a Lady be as well-shap’d as you can fancy, let all 
her features be faultless, and her complexion be ever 
so delicate : yet if she be careless of her person, tawdry 
in her dress, or aukward in her gate and behavior, a 
man of true taste is so far from being touched with the 
charms of her body, that he is immediately prepossest 
against the beauties of her mind ; and apt to believe 
there can be no order within, where there is so much 
disorder without. In my opinion therefore, the Muses 
themselves are never agreeable company without the 
Graces. Or if, as your Lordship’s stile is remarkably 
strong, you wou’d, with (11) Cicero, take this simile 
from a man; you’ll own ’tis not enough to make 
him be lik’d, that he has well-knit bones, nerves and 
sinews : there must be likewise proportion, muscling, 
and coloring, much blood, and some softness. To 
relate facts without their circumstances, whereon de¬ 
pends all instruction ; is to exhibit a skeleton without 
the flesh, wherein consists all comeliness. This I say 

(11)' De Oratore, lib. 1. 



1 8 


to your Lordship, not pretending to teach the art of 
writing to one, who’s so fit to be my master ; but to 
obviate the censures of those, and to censure ’em in 
their turns, who not only do not treat of such subjects 
as I have now undertaken in a flowing and continu’d 
stile, but peremtoriiy deny the fields of Antiquity and 
Criticism to be capable of this culture : and indeed 
as suffering under the drudgery of their hands, they 
generally become barren heaths or impassable thickets; 
where you are blinded with sand, or torn with bryars 
and brambles. There’s no choice of words or expres¬ 
sions. All is low and vulgar, or obsolete and musty; 
as the whole discourse is crabbed, hobbling, and jejune. 
Not that I wou’d have too much license taken in this 
respect ; for though none ought to be slaves to any 

r- Vi , 

set of words, yet great judgement is to be employ’d 
in creating a new, or reviving an old word : nor must 

there be less discretion in the use of figures and sen- 


fences ; which, like embroidery and salt, are to set off 
and season, but not to render the cloth invisible, or 
the meat uneatable. To conclude this point, we are 
told by the most eloquent of men, that a profuse (12) 
volubility, and a sordid exility of words, are to be e- 
qually avoided. And now after this digression, if any¬ 
thing that essentially relates to my task can be pro¬ 
perly call’d one, I return to the Druids, who were so 
prevalent in Ireland, that to this hour their ordinary 
word for Magician is Druid (13), the art Magic, is 

(12) Cicero de Oratore , lib. !• 

(13) Driii. 



m n "“’'-"'I" 1 - - ■ - - T ^ ^ M ** r « I » rrc ' v '' -■^•^ w r^-^vir»»i^TrT.Tw*r-r>«u l ^.»i W 

call'd Druidity (14), and the wand, which was one of 
the badges of their profession, the rod of Druidism (15). 
Among antient Classic authors Pliny is the most ex* 
press concerning the Magic of the Druids, whereof 
the old Irish and British books are full: which Leger¬ 
demain, or secrets of natural Philosophy, as all magic 
is either the one or the other, or both, we shall en¬ 
deavour to lay open in our history of the Druids ; not 
forgetting any old author that mentions them, for 
there’s something particular to be learnt in every one 
of them, as they touch different circumstances, Hav~ , ( 
ing occasionally spoken of the Wand or Staff which 
every Druid carry’d in his hand, as one of the badges 
of his profession, and which in a chapter on this sub¬ 
ject will be shewn to have been a usual thing with 
all pretenders to magic, I must here acquaint you 
further, that each of ’em had what was commonly 
call’d the Druid's Egg , which shall be explain’d in 
the history, hung about his neck, inchas’d in gold. 
They all wore short hair, while the rest of the natives had 
theirs very long ; and, on the contrary, they wore long 
beards, while other people shav’d all theirs, but the up¬ 
per lip. They likewise all wore long habits; as did 
the Bards and the Vaids : but the Druids had on a 
white surplice, whenever they religiously officiated. In 
Ireland they, with the graduate Bards and Vaids, had 
the privilege of wearing six colours in their Breacans 
or robes, which were the striped Braccae of the Gauls, 
still worn by the Highlanders, whereas the king and 

(14) Druidhvacht . 

{15} Slatnan Druidhcachi 9 

60 THE history 

queen might have in theirs but seven, lords and ladies 
five, governors of fortresses four, officers and young 
gentlemen of quality three, common soldiers two, and 
common people one. This sumtuary law most of the 
Irish historians say, was enackted under King (16) 
Ackaius the 1st.; tho’ others, who will have this to 

be blit the reviving of an old law, maintain it was first 
established by king Tigernrnhcis . 

VIII. As the Druids were commonly wont to re¬ 
tire into grots, dark woods, mountains, and (17) graves* 
in which last they had their numerous schools, not 
without houses as some have foolishly dreamt, so 
many such places in France, Britain, and Ireland, do 
still bear their names : as Dreux , the place of their 
annual general assembly in France; Kerig-y-Drud i- 
on, or Druid-stones, a parish so call’d in Denbigh¬ 
shire, from a couple of their altars there still remain¬ 
ing. In Anglesey there is the village of Tre'r Drill * 
the town of the Druid, next to which is Tver 
Beirdh or Bards-town : as also in another place of the 
same island Maen-y-Druu , that is, the Druid’s stone; 
and Caer-Dreuin , or the city of the Druids, in Meri- 
oneth-shire. The places in Ireland and the Hebrides 
&re infinite. The present ignorant vulgar, in the first 
y f the last-mention’d places, do believe, that those in- 
chanters were at last themselves inchanted by their 

(16) Eochaid Eudghathach. 

(17) These Groves far pleasure and retirement, as well as 
for awe and reverence, were different from the lurking pla¬ 
ces in forests and caves, into which they were forc’d when 
interdicted in Gaule and Britain. 


Apostle Patric and his disciples, miraculously confin¬ 
ing them to the places that so bear their names ; 
where they are thought to retain much power, and 
sometimes to appear, which are (18) fancies like the 
English notion of Fairies. Thus theDruid O Murnin in¬ 
habits the hill of Creag-a-Vanny, in Inisoen ; Aunius 
(19) in Benavny from him so call’d in the county of 
Londonderry, and Gealcossa, (20) in Gealcossa’s 
mount in Inisoen aforesaid in the county of Dune- 
gall. This last was a Druidess, and her name is of 
the Homerical strain, signifying White-legg'd, (21). 
On this hill is her grave, the true inchantment which 
confines her, and hard by is her temple ; being a sort 
of diminutive Stone-henge, which many of the old 
Irish dare not even at this day any way prophane. I 
shall discover such things about these temples, where¬ 
of multitudes are still existing, many of them entire, 
in the Hebrides, in Orkney, and on the opposie Con¬ 
tinent; as also many in Wales, in Jersey and Guernsey, 
and some in England and Ireland, the most remarkable 
to be accurately describ’d and delineated in our history, 
I shall discover such things, I say, about the famous 
Egg of the Druids, to the learned hitherto a riddle, not 
to speak of their magical gems and herbs : as also 

(18) Such fancies came from the hiding of the persecut¬ 
ed Druids, from the reign of Tiberius, who made the first 
law against them (having been discountenanced by Au¬ 
gustus) but strictly put in execution by Claudius, ant! 
the following Emperors, till their utter extirpation by the 
general conversion of the people to Christianity, 

(IS) Aibhne or OibUne. 

(20) Gealchossach, 

(21) Cnuc nu Geaechossaiscv 



bout their favourite All-heal or (22) Misselto, gather'd 
with so much ceremony by a Priest in his white Sur¬ 
plice, as Pliny (23) tells us, and with a gold pruning- 
knife ; as well as about the abstrusest parts of their 
Philosophy and Religion, that the like has not yet ap¬ 
pear’d in any author, who has treated of them. The 
books of such are either bare collections of fragments, 
or a heap of precarious fables; I mean especially some 
French writers on this subject, as Picard, Forcatu- 
lus, Guenebaut, with others of no better allay in Bri¬ 
tain and Germany ; for as I admit nothing without 
good authority, so I justly expect, that, without as 
good, nothing will be admitted from me. 

IX. But, My Lord, besides these Druids, the antient 
Gauls, Britons, and Irish, had another order of learned 
men, call’d Bards, whereof we-shall sufficiently dis¬ 
course in our propos’d work. Bard is still the Irish 
and Scottish word, as Bardh the Armoric and British. 
There’s no difference in the pronunciation, tho’, 
according to their different manner of writing in ex¬ 
pressing the power of the letters, they vary a little in 
the orthography (24). The Bards were divided into 

(22) All these heads will be so many intire Chapter, 

(23) Sacerdos , canaida veste callus, arhorem scandit z 
Jalce aurea demetit . Hist. Nat. Lib. 16. Cap. 44. 

(24) Let it be noted once for all, that as in other tongues, 
so in Irish and Welsh particularly, t and d are commonly 
put for each other, by reason of their affinity; and that dk 
and gh being pronounc’d alike in Irish, and therefore often 
confounded, yet an exact writer will always have regard to 
the origin as well as to the analogy of any word : and so he’ll 
write Druidke (for example) and not Druighe , much less 
Braoithe broadly and aspirately ; nor will he use any other 



three orders or degrees ; namely, to give an example 
now in the British dialect, as I shall give their turns 
to all the Celtic colonies, Privardh, Posvardh , and 
Aruyvardh : but, with regard to the subjects whereof 
they treated, they were call’d Prududh, or Tevluur, or 
Clerur; which words, with the equivalent Irish names, 
shall be explain’d in our history, where you’ll find 
this division of the Bards well warranted. The first 
were Chronologers, the second Heralds, and the third 
Comic or Satyrical Poets among the vulgar : for the 
second sort did sing the praises of great men in the 
heroic strain, very often at the head of armies, like 
him in Virgil 

Cretea musarum comitem, cut carmina semper 
Et citharae cordi, nwnerosque intendere nervis; 


Semper equos , aiq ; cirma virum, pugnasq ; canebai: 

Virg. Aen. Lib. 9. 

And the first, who likewise accompany’d them in peace, 
did historically register their genealogies and atchiev- 
menfcs. We have some proofs that the panegyrics of 
the Gallic Bards did not always want wit no more 
than flattery ; and particularly an instance out of A* 
theneus , who had it from Posidonius the Stoic, con¬ 
cerning (26) Liter nius, a Gallic Prince, extraordinary 

niispellings, tho’ ever so common in books. This is well 
observ’d by an old author, who writing of Conla a hea¬ 
then freethinking Judge of Connacht, thus characterizes 
him ; Se do rinne an ckoinbhliocht ris na Druidhibh : ’fcwas 
he that disputed against the Druids. These Criticisms, 
some won’d say, are trifles : but 

Hae nugae in seria ducunt . 

[26] Whether it be Luernius, or as Strabo writes it 


rich, liberal, and magnificent. He was the father of 

that same Bittus, who was beaten by the Romans. 
Now this Luernius, says ( 27 ) my author, “ Having 
f< appointed a certain day for a feast, and one of the 
“ Barbarous Poets coming too late, met him as he 
* £ was departing - ; whereupon he began to sing his 
H praises and to extol his grandeur, but to lament 
his own unhappy delay. Luernius being delighted, 
** call’d for a purse of Gold, which he threw to him, 

“ as he ran by the side of his chariot: and he taking 
it up, began to sing again to this purpose ; That 


“ kind.” As some of the Gallic Bards were truly in¬ 
genious, so were many of them mere quiblers : and 
among the bombast of the British and Irish Bards, 
there want not infinite instances of the true sublime. 
Theif Epigrams were admirable, nor do the modern I- 
talians equal them in conceits. But in stirring the 
passions, their Elegies and Lamentations far excede 
those of the Greecs, because they express nature 
much more naturally. These bards are not yet quite 
extinct, there being of them in Wales, in the High¬ 
lands of Scotland, and in Ireland : nor did any coun¬ 
try in the world abound like the last with this sort of 

Luerius, the name is frequent either way in the antient- „ 
est Irish Writers, as Loarn, and Loire or Luighaire. 

(27^) Apliorisar.tos d’ antou prothesmian pote tes thoines, aphysteresanta tina tow 
Barbara!- p< ieteti aphikesihai ; kai synantesanta met' ods 3 hymnein autou ter\ 
liyperochen, heauton d’ hypothreneiri hoti hystereke : tonde terphthema thylakion 
mitesai clirysion, kai ripsai auto paratrechonti ; aaelomenoa de ekeiuou palm 

hymnein, leg-onta, dio kai ta icbne tes g-es (eph* hes harmatelatei) chrygen kai 
•uergcsias aathropois pherei. Edit . Lugd . Lib. 4. Pag. 152- 

v ma 


men, whose licentious panegyrics or satyrs have not a 
little contributed to breed confusion in the Irish his¬ 
tory. There were often at a time, a thousand Olldws 
(28) or graduate Poets, besides a proportionable num¬ 
ber of inferior Rhymers, who all of ’em liv’d most 
of the year on free cost: and, what out of fear of their 
railing, or love of their flattery, no body durst deny 
them any thing, be it armour, fewel, 'horse, mantle, or 
the like ; which grew into a general 'custom, whereof 
the Poets did not fair to take the advantage. The 
great men,. out of self-love and interest, encourag’d 
no other kind of learning, especially after they profes¬ 
sed Christianity : the good regulation, under which 
they were in the time of Druidism, as then in some 
manner belonging to the temples, having been destroy¬ 
ed with that religion. In a small time they became 
such a grievance, that several attempts were made to 
rid the nation of them : and, which is something comb 
cal, what at least our present Poets would not extra- 
ordinarly like, the orders for banishing them were al¬ 
ways to the Highlands of Scotland ; while they were 
as often harbour’d in Ulster, till upon promise of a- 
mendment of their manners I mean and not of their 
poetry, they were permitted to return to the other 
provinces. At last, in a general national assembly, or 
^parliament, at Drumeat, (29) in the country we now 
call the county of Londonderry, under [30] Aldus 
Anmireus , Xlth.Christian king, in the year 597, where 

(28) Ollarnh is a Professor or Doctor in any facuily, 

(90) Druim-ceat alias Druimcheat . 

TSO] Aojdhmhac Ainmwtre. 







maw-g am 


was also present (81) Adius king of Scotland -and 
the great (32) Columha , it was decreed : that for the 
better preservation of their history, genealogies, and 
the purity of their language, the supreme monarch, 
and the subordinate kings, with every lord of a can- 
tied, should entertain a Poet of his own, no more be¬ 
ing allowed by the antient law in the iland ; and 
that upon each of these and their posterity a portion 
of land, free from all duties, shou’d be settl’d for ever ; 
that, for encouraging the learning these Poets and 
Antiquaries profest, public Schools shou’d be appoint¬ 
ed and endow’d, under the national inspection ; and 
that the Monarch’s own Bard should be Arch-poet (33), 
and have super-intendency over the rest. ’Tis a com¬ 
mon mistake, into which father Pezron has fallen a- 
mong others, that the Bards belonged to the body of 
the Druids : but this is not the place to rectify it. 
They made hymns for the use of the temples, ’tis true, 
and manag’d the music there ; but they were the 
Druids that officiated as Priests, and no sacrifices 
were offer’d but by their ministry. 

X. In the History likewise shall be fully explain’d 
the third order of the Celtic Lilerati, by the Greecs call¬ 
ed Ouateis, and by the Romans Yates ; which yet is 
neither Greec nor Roman, but a mere Celtic word, viz. 
Faibh, which signifies to this day a prophet in all Irish 

books, and in the common language, particularly in the 



(32) CoLUI'k-CI'LLE. 

(33) Ard~0Uamh 9 


Irish translation of the Bible ; where Druids (34) are 
also commonly put for Inchanters, as those of Egypt, 
and especially for the Mages , or as we translate the 
wise men (35) that came from the East, to visit Jesus 
in his cradle. So easily do men convey their own ideas 
into other men’s books, or find ’em there ; which has 
been the source of infinite mistakes, not onely in Divi¬ 
nity, but also in Philosophy and Philology. The Cel¬ 
tic (36) Vaids were Physicians and Diviners, great 
proficients in natural Philosophy, as were likewise the 
Druids , who had the particular inspection of Morals, 
but Cicero, who was well acquainted with one of the 
prime Druids , remarks, that their predictions were as 
much grounded on (37) conjecture, as on the rales of 
Augury : both equally fortuitous and fallacious. For 
the saying of Euripides will ever hold true, that (38) 

(34) Draoithe, Exod. 7. 11. Anois Draoithe na Heyipte 
dorinneJursanfos aianmodhgceadnal. nandroigheachtuibh* 

(35) Mat. 2. 1. Feucli Tangadar Draoithe o naird shoir 
go Hiarusaiem. 

(36) The word is Faidh (or Vail by the usual conversion 
of the Letters F into V and D into Tj whence the Latins 
made Fates ; and their Critics acknowledge, that they took 
many words from the Gauls. The Euchages and Eubages 9 
in some copies of Ammianus Marcellinus, are false 
readings, es in time will appear. So are Drusi , Drusides f 
and Drvsiades for Druid es: as likewise Vardi , from the 
Brittisb and Irish oblique cases of Bard. 

(37) Siquidem § in Gallia Drnides sunt , e quibus ipse Dr- 
v it i a cum Aeduum , hasp item tvum laudator emque, cognovi 
(inquit Quintus) qui § naturae rationem.quam pkysiologV 
am Graeci appellant, notam esse sibi profitebatur ; partim 
Au<?urii $, partim conjectura , quae essent futura diccbal, 
De Divinat. lib. 1. cap. 41. 

( 38 ) Mantis aristos, liostis cikazei kales, 

6 $ 



the best guesser is the best Prophet . He that is nearly 
acquainted with the state of affairs, that understands 
the springs, of human actions, and, that, judiciously al¬ 
lowing for circumstances, compares the present time 
with the past : he, I say, will make a shrewd guess at 
the future.. By this time, My Lord, you begin to per¬ 
ceive what is to be the subject of the History I intend 
to write which, tho’ a piece of general learning and 
great curiosity, yet I shall make it. my business so to 
digest v as render it no less intertainine* than instruc- 
live to all sorts of readers, without excepting the la¬ 
dies, who are-pretty much concern'd in this matter ; 
throwing, as I told you before, all my Critical observa- 
vations* and Disquisitions about words, into the mar¬ 
gin, or the Dissertation, annex! to the History. As to 
what I say of the ladies, being concern'd in this His- 
tory , there were not only Druidesses ; but some even 
of the highest rank, and Princesses themselves were 
educated by the Druids: for in our own Annals we read, 
that the two daughters of king (89) Laogirius , in whose 
reign Patric preach’d Christianity, were educated by 
them ;■ and we have the particulars of a long dispute 
those young ladies' maintained against this new Re¬ 
ligion, very natural but very' subtil. Several other la¬ 
dies bred under the Druids became famous for their 
writings and proficiency in learning, of some of whom 
we shall occasionally give an account: but lest 1 shou'd 
be thought in every thing* to flatter the Sex, how muck 
soever I respect them, I refer the reader to a story in 
my third Letter.. But, in order to complete my design, 




so as to leave no room for any to write on this subject 


after me ; and also to procure several valuable Manu¬ 
scripts, or authentic copies of them, well knowing where 
they ly, I purpose towards the Spring to take a journey 
far at least six months: which, at our next meeting, I 
shall do myself the honour to impart to your Lordship 

r 1 I 

very particularly. 

XI, The Irish,, a few Scandinavian and Danish words 
excepted, being not only a Dialect of the antient Cel- 
tic or Gallic, but being also liker the mother than her o- 
ther daughter the British ; and the Irish Manuscripts 
being more numerous and much antienter than the 
Welsh, shows beyond all contradiction the necessity of 
this language for retrieving the knowledge of the Cel¬ 
tic Religion and Learning. Camden and others have 
long since taken notice of the agreement between the 
present British and those old Gallic words collected by- 
learned men out of Greec and Roman authors : and 
the industrious Mr. Edward Lhuyd, late keeper of the 
Museum at Oxford, perceiv’d this affinity between the 
sdme words an d the Irish, even before he study’d that 
language, by the demonstration I gave him of the same 
in all the said instances. Nor does he deny this agree¬ 
ment in the comparative Etymologicon he afterwards 
made of those languages, where he quotes Camden and 
Boxhornius affirming it about the Gallic and British; 
hut there being , says he (40), no Vocabulary extant, mean¬ 
ing no doubt in print, of the Irish , or antient Scottish , 
they coil'd not collate that language therewith, which the 

f-10) In the preface to his Arckceologia Britannica, pag* % 



curious in these studies will now find to agree rather 
more than ours , with the Gaulish. That it does so, is 
absolute fact, as will be seen by hundreds of instances 
in this present work. I am aware that what I am go- 
mg to say will sound very oddly, and seem more than 
a paradox ; but I deserve, My Lord, and shall be con¬ 
tent with your severest censure, if, before yon have 
finish'd reading these sheets, you be not firmly of the 
same mind yourself: namely, that, without the know¬ 
ledge of the Irish language and books, the Gallic Anti¬ 
quities, not meaning the Francic, can never be set in 
any tolerable light, with regard either to words or to 
tinners': and numerous occasions there will occur in this 
History of illustrating both words and things even in 
the Greec and Roman authors. I shall here give one 


example of this, since I jus,t come from treating of the 
several professors of learning common to the antient 
Gauls, Britons, and Scots, viz. the Druids, Bards, and 
Yaids. Lucian (41) relates that in Garde he saw Her¬ 
cules represented as a little old man, whom in the 
language of the country they call’d Ogmius ; drawing 
after him an infinite multitude of persons, who seem’d 
most willing to follow, tho’ drag’d by extreme fine and 
almost imperceptible chains : which were fasten’d at; 
the one end to their ears, and held at the other, not in 
either of Hercules’s hands, which were both otherwise 
imploy’d ; but ty’d to the tip of his tongue, in which 
there was a hole on purpose, where all those chains 
center’d. Lucian wondering at this manner of portray- 

(41) Ton Heraclea hoi Keltoi OGMTOV onomazonsi phone te ephichorG, 
c-t qua sequiintur in Hercule Gallico t iy need etenim iougiord quam ut 

hie commode, wseri possiht*. 


lag Hercules, was inform'd by a learned Druid who 
stood by, that Hercules did not in Gaule, as in Greece, 
betoken Strength of Body , but the Force of Eloquence; 
which is there very beautifully display’d by the Druid, 
in*his explication of the picture that hung in the temple. 
Now, the Critics of all nations have made a heavy po¬ 
ther about this same word Ogmius, and laboriously 
sought for the meaning of it every where, but just 
where it was to be found. The most celebrated Bo- 
chart, who, against the grain of nature, if I may sa 
speak, wou’d needs reduce all things to Phenician; says 
it is an oriental word, since the Arabians (42) call 
strangers and barbarians Agemion: as if, because the 
Phenicians traded antiently to Gaule and the British 
Hands, for Colonies in them they planted none, they 
must have also imported their language; and, with 
their other commodities, barter’d it for something to 
the natives, naming their places, their men, and their 
Gods for them. Our present Britons, who are at least 
as great traders, do not find they can do so in Fhenicia, 
nor nearer home in Greece and Italy, nor yet at their 
own doors in this very Gaule : besides that Lucian does 
positively affirm Ogmius was a Gallic word, a ivord (43) 
of the country. This has not hinder'd a learned Eng¬ 
lish Physician, Dr. Edmund Dickenson, from hunting 
still in the East for a derivation of it; conjecturing Her- 

(49) In Geographia Sacra , sive Canaan , part 9, cap. 4A 

(43) Phene te epieiiorii Ubi supra , 

cules to be (44) Joshua, who was surnamed Ogmius, 
for having conquer’d Gg King of Bashan : 

0 / sanctas gcntes f quihus haec nascuntur in hortis 

Juvenal. Sat . 15. ver. 10. 

I could make your Lordship yet merryer, or rather an¬ 
grier, at these forc’d and far-fetch’d Etymologies, to¬ 
gether with others hammer’d as wretchedly out of 
Greee, nay even out of Swedish and German. But the 
word Ogmius, as Lucian was truely inform’d, is pure 
Celtic; and signifies, to use Tacitus’s (45) phrase about 
the * Germans, the Secret of Letters , particularly the 
Letters themselves, and consequently the learning that 
depends on them, from whence the Force of Eloquence 
precedes: so that Hercules Ogmius is the learned 
Hercules, or Hercules the protector of learning , hav¬ 
ing by many been reputed himself a (46) Philosopher, 
To prove this account of the word, so natural and so 
apt, be pleas’d to understand, that, from the very be¬ 
ginning of the Colony, Ogum, sometimes written 

(44) . am quo rpxe spec las s-e videiur illwl nomen , quo 
Galti antiquit as Hercules nuncupdliant . Unde ver o < )g- 
mios ? Annon ah Og vie to ? Delph. Phcenicizant. cap. 3. 

(45) Literaruni Secrcta viri pariter ac foeminae ingno ~ 
rant. De monbus Germanortim, cap. IP. 

(46) En de tois chronois teo Basile’as ton Phoinlcos ea Heracles ho Philoso- 
phos Tyrios host is ephenre ten con^chylea, &c. Palaephati fragment-urn in Qrmi- 
co Alexandrine) . Heracles Alkmeues hyios, Teuton Philosophon hystorousi, Sic. 
Suulas in Voce Heracles. Et din ante Suidam audiebat apud Heraclitum, in 
Allegoriis Homericis , Auer emphron, kai sophias ouramou roysies, hosperei ka¬ 
ta Batheias achlyos epUhedykyian ephotize ten philosophias, Katbaper homo- 
log ousi kai Stoikun hoi uokimotatoi. 



Ogam, and also (47) Ogma, has signify’d in Ireland the 
Secret of Letters, or the Irish Alphabet; for the truth 
of which I appeal to all the antient Irish books, with¬ 
out a single exception. Tis one of the most authentic 
words of the language, and originally stands for this 
notion alone. Indeed after Patric had converted the 
nation, and, for the better propagating of Christian 
books, introduc’d the use of the Roman letters, instead 
of the antient manner of writing, their primitive let¬ 
ters, very different from those they now use, began by 
degrees to grow obsolete ; and at last legible only by 
Antiquaries and other curious men, to whom they stood 
in as good stead as any kind of occult characters: 
whence it happen’d that Ogum, from signifying the se¬ 
cret of writing, came to signify secret writing, but still 
principally meaning the original Irish Characters. 
There are several Manuscript Treatises extant, describ¬ 
ing and teaching the various methods of this Secret 
Writing; as one in the College-Library of (48) Dub¬ 
lin, and another in that of Iris Grace the Duke of (49) 
Chandois. Sir James Ware, in his Antiquities of Ire¬ 
land, relating how the antient Irish did, besides the 
vulgar characters, practise also divers ways and arts 
of occidt writing, call'd Ogum, in which they wrote their 

v - 7 * ■ 

(47) As in the Dublin College Manuscript^ to be pre¬ 
sently cited. 

(48) ’Tis, among other .pieces, in the Book of Baltimore ; 
being the 255th volume in the Dublin Catalogue, m parch¬ 
ment, folio, D. 18. 

(49) Anonymi cujusdam Tractatus de variis apud Biher - 
nos veteres occultis scribendi formulis, Hibernice Ogum dictis * 

' K 



secrets; I have , continues (70) he, an antient parchment 
hook full of these, which is the same just now said to 
belong to the Duke of Chandois: and Dudley (71) 
Forbes,. a hereditary Antiquary,. wrote to the rather 
laborious- than judicious Chronologist (72) 0 Flaherty f 
in the Year 1688, that he had some of the primitive 
(58) Birch-tables,, for those they had before the use of 
parchment, or paper* and many sorts of the old occult 
writing by Mm, These are principally the Ogham- 
heith , the Ogkam-coll, and the (74) Ogham-craoth, 
which Iasi is the old one and the true. But that the 

primary Irish; letters, the letters first in common use, 
which in the manner we have shown, became acciden¬ 

tally occult, were- originally meant by the word Ogum; 
besides the appeal made above to all antient authors* 
is plain In particular from Forchern , a noted Bard and 
Philosopher, who liv’d a little before Christ. This 
learned man ascribing with others- the invention, of let¬ 
ters to; the Phenicians, or rather more strictly and pro¬ 
perly to Phenist* whom the Irish call Fenius farsaidh 

4 . 

or Phertix the antient, says, that, among other Alpha¬ 
bets, as the Hebrew, Greec, and Latin, he also com¬ 
pos’d that of (77) Bethluisnion an Oghum, the Alphabet 

(50) Pnelcr charctcteres wig ares utebantur etiam veteres 
Hiberni variis occultis scribendi formi/lis sen artijiciis , Ogum 
dictis , quilms*seCreta su-a scribebant: hh refer turn habeo libel- 
him membranaceuni antiquum. Cap. 2* 

(51) Dualtach mha.c Fin bis. 


(53) Ogygia, part. 3. cap „ 30. 

(54) Ogum-b ranches. 

(55) Fenius Farsaidh Alphabet $ prima Hebrtsorum, 


Jm^i^-EEgaarc.-^ -T-s-an —jr .»x«y»«f» .. .. ,,<» . 

of Ogum, or the Irish Alphabet, meaning that he in¬ 
vented the first letters, in imitation of which the Al¬ 
phabets of those Nations were made. Ogum is also 
taken in this sense by the best modern writers : as 
William (56) 0 Done 11, afterwards Archbishop of 
Tuam, in his preface to the Irish New Testament , de¬ 
dicated to King James the First, and printed at Dub¬ 
lin in the Year 1602, speaking of one of his assistants, 
says, that he enjoin'd him to write the other part ac¬ 
cording to the Ogum and propriety of the Irish tongue ; 
where Ogum must necessarily signify the Alphabet, 
Orthography, and true maimer of writing Irish. From 
■all this it is clear, why among the Gauls, of whom the 
Irish had their Language and Religion, Hercules , as 
the protector of Learning, shou d be call d Ogmius , the 
termination alone being Greec<, Nor is this all. Og~ 
ma was not only a known proper name iaf Ireland, but 
also one of the most anlient; since Ogma Grianann^ 
the father of King (57) Dalboetius , was one of the first 
of the Danannan race, many ages before Luicaris time. 
He was a very learned man, marry d to Eathna , a fa¬ 
mous Poetess,- who bore, besides the fore-mention d 
Monarch, Cairbre likewise a Poet: insomuch that Og¬ 
ma was deservedly surnamed (58) Grianann , which is 

Grcecorum , Latinorum , et Bethluisnion an Oghuim, compo- 
suit. Ex Fgrcherni fibre, octiiigentis retro arm is Latine 
red di to. 

(56) William ODomunuill. 

(57) Dealbhaoith. 

(58) Grian is the Sun, and Grianann Sun like, or belong¬ 
ing to the Sum 


to say Phebean , where you may observe Learning 1 still 
attending this name. The Celtic Language being 
now almost extinct in Gaule, except onely in lower 
Britanny, and such Galic words as remain scatter d 
among the French ; subsists however in tire in the se¬ 
veral (59) dialects of the Celtic Colonies, as do the 
words Ogum and Ogma particularly in Irish. Nor is 
there any thing better known to the learned, or will 
appear more undeniable in the sequel of this work, than 
that words lost in one dialect of the same common lan¬ 
guage, are often found in another : as a Saxon word, 
for example, grown obsolete in Germany, but remain¬ 
ing yet in England, may be also us d in Switzerland.; 
or another word grown out of date in England, and 
florishing still in Denmark, continues likewise in Ice¬ 
land. So most of the antiquated English words are 
more or less corruptly extant in Friezland, Jutland, 
and the other Northern countries; with not a few in 
the Lowlands of Scotland, and in the old English Pale 
in Ireland. 



XII. Now, from tire name of Hercules let’s come 
to his person, or at least to the person acknowledg’d to 
have been one of the Heros worship’d by the Gauls, 
and suppos’d by the Greecs and Romans to be Her¬ 
cules. On this occasion I cannot but reflect on the 
opposite conduct, which the learned and the unlearned 
formerly observ’d, with respect to the Gods and divine 
matters. If, thro’ the ignorance or superstition of the 

(59) These are British, Welsh, Cornish, Irish, Maaks, 
and Earse, 


people, any fable, tho’ ever so gross, was generally re¬ 

ceiv’d in a Religion; the learned being asham’d of such 
an absurdity, yet not daring openly to explode any 
thing wherein the Priests found their account, explain¬ 
ed it away by emblems and allegories importing a rea¬ 
sonable meaning, of which the first authors never 
thought: and if the learned on the other hand, either 
to procure the greater veneration for their dictates, or 
the better to conceal their sentiments from the profane 
vulgar, did poetically discourse of the elements and 
qualities of matter, of the constellations or the planets, 
and the like effects of nature, veiling them as persons; 
the common sort immediately took them for so many 
persons in good earnest, and render’d ’em divine wor¬ 
ship under such forms, as the Priests judg’d fittest to 
represent them. Objects of divine worship have been 
coin’d out of the rhetorical flights of Orators, or the 
flattering addresses of Panegyrists: even metaphors 
and epithets have been transform’d into Gods, which 
procur’d niony for the Priests as well as the best; and 
this by so much the more, as such objects were multi¬ 
ply’d. This is the unavoidable consequence of deviat¬ 
ing ever so little from plain Truth, which is never so 
heartily and highly reverenc’d, as when appearing in 
her native simplicity; for as soon as her genuine beauties 
are indeavour’d to be heightn’d by borrow’d ornaments, 
and that she’s put under a disguise in gorgeous ap¬ 
parel : she quickly becomes, like others affecting such 
a dress, a mercenary prostitute, wholly acting by vani¬ 
ty, artifice, or interest, and never speaking but in am- 



biguous or unintelligible terms ; while the admiration 
of her lovers is first turn’d into amazement, as it com¬ 
monly ends in contemt and hatred. But over and above 
the difficulty, which these proceedings have occasion¬ 
ed in the history of antient time, there arises a greater 
from time itself destroying infinite circumstances, the 
want whereof causes that to seem afterwards obscure, 
which at the beginning was very clear and easy. To 
this we may join the preposterous emulation of nations, 
in ascribing to their own Gods or Heros, whatever qua¬ 
lities were pre-eminent in those of others. That most 
judicious writer ( 60 ) about the nature of the Gods, 
commonly call’d Phurnutus, tho’ his true name was 
Cornutus, a Stoic Philosopher, whom I shall have fre¬ 
quent occasion to quote hereafter, “ Owns the great 
“ ( 61 ) variety, and consequently the perplexedness and 
“ obscurity, that occurs in the history of Hercules ; 
“ whereby it is difficult to know certainly what were 
“ his real atchievments, or what were fabulously father- 
“ ed upon him: but having been an excellent General, 
“ who had in diverse countries signaliz’d his valor, he 

(6*0) Phournoutou theoria peri tes ton theon physeos, vulgo : sed, ut Ravii 
codex <% Vaticanus legunt (notante doctissimo Galeo) vtrus titulus est Kornoutou 
epidrome ton kata ten Helleniken theorian paradidomeuon. 

(61) To de dysdiakrita gegonenai ta tou theou idia, apo ton peri tou He¬ 
roes historoumenon. Tacha d’an lie leonte kai to ropalon ek tes palaias the- 
olo^ias epi touton metenenegraoaa eie ; strategon gar auton genomenon agathon, 
kai polla mere tes ges meta dynameos epelthonta ouch’ hoion te gymnon edox- 
an perielelythenai xylo mono hoplismenon : alia tois * episernois tou theou, meta 
ton apathanatismon, hypo ton euergetoumenon kekosrcesthai ; symbalon gar 
hekateron eie romes kai germaiotitos, &c. 

* A Hi pisynois 0 



“ thinks it not probable, that he went onely arm’d 
“ with a Lion’s skin and a Club ; but that he was re- 
“ presented after his death with these, as symbols of 
“ generosity and fortitude, for which reason he was 
“ pictur’d with a bow and arrows.” To this let me 
add, that several valiant men in several nations having, 
in imitation of some one man any where, been called 
or rather surnam’d Hercules ; not only the works of 
many, as subduing of Tyrants, exterminating of wild 
beasts, promoting or exercising* of commerce, and pro¬ 
tecting or improving of learning have been ascrib’d to 
one: but that also wherever any robust person was 
found represented with a skin and a club, a bow and 
arrows, he was straight deem’d to beHERCULEs; whence 
the Egyptian, the Indian, the Tyrian, the Cretan, the 
Grecian or Theban, and the Gallic Hercules. This 
was a constant way with the Greecs and Romans, who, 
for example, from certain resemblances perfectly acci¬ 
dental, conjectur’d that Isis was honour’d by the (62) 
Germans, and Bacchus worship’d by the (63) Jews, 
which last notion is refuted even by their enemy (64) 

(62) Pars Suevorum 4' Tsidi sacrificat. Unde causa et 
origo peregrino sacro panini comperi; nisi quod signum ip- 
sum, in modum Liburnaefiguration, docet advectam Religi- 
onem. Tacit, de mor. German, cap. 9. 

(63) Plutarch. Symposiac. lib. 4. quern prolixins dis- 
serentcm otiosus consulas, lector. 

(64) Quia sacerdotes eorum tibia tympanisque concinebant, 
hedera vinciebantur, vitisque aurea templo reperta. Liberum 
patrem coil, domitorem Orientis , quid am arhitrati sunt, ne- 
quaquam congruentibus institntis: quippe Liber festos lae•> 
tosque ritus posuit, Judworum mos absurdus serdidusquc, 
Lib. 5. cap, 5. 

80 the history 

Tacitus. Such superficial discoveries about the Cel¬ 
tic Divinities I shall abundantly expose. Yet that 
Ogmius might be really the Grecian Hercules, well 
known in Gaule, it will be no valid exception that he 
was by the Druids Theologically made the symbol! of 
the Force of Eloquence, for which that country has 
been ever distinguish’d and esteem’d: since even in 
Greece he was, as Phurnutus assures us, mystically 
accounted (65) that Reason which is diffus'd thro' all 
things , according to which nature is vigorous ana strong , 
invincible and ever generating ; being the power that 
communicates virtue and firmness to every part of things. 
The Scholiast of Apollonius affirms, that the natural 
Philosophers understood by Hercules, the (66) intel¬ 
ligence and permanence of beings: as the Egyptians 
held him to be (67) that Reason , which is in the whole 
of things , and in every part. Thus the learned allego¬ 
riz'd away among others, as I said before, the fabulous 
atchievments and miraculous birth of this Hero, on 
which we shall however touch again, when we come 
to explain the Heathen humor of making all extraor¬ 
dinary persons the Sons of Gods, and commonly begot 
on Virgins ; tho ? this last is not the case of Hercules> 
who was feign'd to be the Son of Jupiter by Alcmena, 

(65) Heracles de estin ho on tois holois legos, hath’ lion he physis ischyra 
kai krataia estin, aniketos kai aperigennetOi oiisa : metadotil. os ischyos, kai tes 
para raeros alkes hyparchon^ 

(66) Para tois Physikojs ho Heracles synesis kai alke lambanetaL 

(o«) 7on en pasi, kc.i dia panton, logon; non Helion, u,t sovrupte fegi cu-m 

Galeo suspicor in Macrobio., Sattrnai iib* 1. cap. 20- 


p ann e 


mars * .* mmU ' w i shi 

another man’s wife. This won d be reckon d immoral 
among men, but Jupiter, said the Priests, can do with 
his own what he pleases : which reason, if it contented 
the husbands, cou’d not displease the batchelors, who 
might chance to be sometimes Jupiter s substitutes. 
The Druidical allegory of Ogmius, or the Gallic Her¬ 
cules, which in its proper place I shall give you at 
large, is extremely beautiful: and as it concerns that 
Eloquence whereof you are so consummate a master, 
cannot but powerfully charm you. 

XIII. In the mean time tis probable your Lord- 
ship will be desireous to know, whether, besides the 
language and traditions of the Irish, or the monuments 
of stone and other materials which the country affords, 
there yet remain any Literary records truly antient and 
unadulterated, whereby the History of the Druids, with 
such other points of antiquity, may be retriev d, or at 
least illustrated ? This is a material question, to which 
I return a clear and direct answer; that not onely there 
; remain very many antient Manuscripts undoubtedly 
i genuine, besides such as are forg'd, and greater num¬ 
bers (68) interpolated, several whereof are in Ireland 
itself, some here in England, and others in the Irish 
iMonasteries abroad: but that, notwithstanding the long 
state of barbarity in which that nation hath lain, and 

(68) As the Uraiceacht na neigios, i. e. the Accidence 
of the Artists, or the Poets; Which being the work of For- 
cuern before-nam’d, was interpolated, and fitted to hia 
own time, by Ceann faoladh the Son 6f OxLjtot<L, in 
the Year of Christ 628/ 




after all the rebellions and wars with which the king¬ 
dom has been harrass d ; they have incomparably more 
antient materials of that kind for their history, to which 
even their Mythology is not unserviceable,, than, either 
the English, or the French, or any other European na ¬ 
tion, with whose Manuscripts I have any acquaintance.. 
Of these I shall one day give a catalogue, marking the 
places, where they now ly, as many as I know of them ;\ 
but nott meaning every Transcript of the same Manu¬ 
script,. wiiAwou d be endless, if not impossible,. In all 
conditions the Irish have been strangely sollicitous, if 
n ot in some degree superstitious, about preserving their 
books and parchments; even those of them which are 
so old, as to be bow partly or wholly unintelligible. 
Abundance thro’ over care Lave perished under ground, 
the concealer not having skill, or wanting searcloth and 
other proper materials for- preserving them. The most 
valuable pieces, Beth in verse and prose, were written 
by their Heathen- ancestors;; whereof some indeed have 
been interpolated after the prevailing of Christianity, 
which additions or alterations are nevertheless easily 
distinguish'd : and in these books the rites and formu¬ 
laries of the Druids, together with their Divinity and 
Philosophy; especially their two grand doctrines of the 
eternity and incorruptibility of the universe, and the 
incessant Revolution of all beings and. forms, are very 
specially, tho’ sometimes very figuratively express'd. 
Hence their Allanimation and Transmigration. Why 
none of the natives have hitherto made any better use 
of these treasures ; or why both they, and such other 




as have written concerning the History of Ireland, have 
onely entertain’d the world with the fables of it, as no 
country wants a fabulous account of its original, or the 
! succession of its Princes, why the modern Irish His- 
I iorians, I say, give m such a medley of relations, un¬ 
pick’d and unchosen, I had rather any man else shou d 
tell. The matter is certainly ready, there wants but 
j will or skill for working of it; separating the Dross 
: from the pure Ore, and distinguishing counterfeit from 
| sterling coin. This in the meantime is undeniable, that 
learned men in other places, perceiving the same dishes 
to be eternally serv d up at every meal, are of opinion 
I that there is no better fare in the country; while those 
things have been conceal'd from them by the ignorant 
or the lazy, that would have added no small ornament 
even to their classical studies.. Of this I hope to con¬ 
vince the world by the lustre, which, in this work, I 
! shall impart to the Antiquities not only of Gaule and 
Britain, but likewise to numerous passages of the 
i Greec and Latin authors. How many noble discoveries 
of the like kind might be made in all countries, where 
; the use of Letters has long subsisted ! Such things in 
! the mean time are as if they were not: for 

Faulum sepultee distal inertias 

Celata virtus, 

: * Hon at, lib. 4. Gd. 9. 

Tire use of letters lias been very antient in Ireland, 
which at first were cut on the bark Of trees (89), pre¬ 
par’d for that 'purpose ; or on smooth tables of birch- 
(89) Or alum. 


wood, which were call’d [70] Poets tables ; as their 
characters were in general namd [71] twigs and 
branch-letters, from their shape. Their Alphabet was 
call d Beth-luis-nion , from the three first letters of the 
same, B, L, N, Beth, Luis, Nion [72] : for the parti¬ 
cular name of every letter was, for memory-sake, from 
some tree or other vegetable; which, in the infancy of 
writing on barks and boards, was very natural. They 
had also many characters signifying whole words, like 
the Egyptians and the Chinese. When Pairic intro- 
due d the Roman letters, as I said above, then, from a 
corruption of Abcedarium , they call’d their new Alpha¬ 
bet [ 78 ] Aibghittir ; which, by the Monkish writers, 
has been Latiniz’d [74] Abgetoriumu But there florish- 
ed a great number of Druids, Bards, Vaids, and other 
authors in Ireland long before Patricks arrival; whose 
learning was not only more extensive, but also much 
more useful than that of their Christian posterity this 
last sort being almost wholly imploy d in scholastic 

[70] Taibhle Fileadh. 

[71] Feadha: Craolh Ogham . 

[70] Birch , Quicken , and Ash . 

[73] At first it was very analogically pronounc'd Ab-ke« 
dair , since the letter C then in Latin, as still in Irish and 
British, had the force of K no less before E and I, than be¬ 
fore A, O, U; having never been pronounc'd like S by the 
antient Romans, who said Kikero, Jcenseo, hoecus , but 
not Sisero, senseo, soecus , when the words Cicero, censeo, 
coccus , or such like occurr’d: so that Abkedair did natural¬ 
ly liquidate into Aibghittir, in the manner that all Gramma¬ 
rians know. 

[74] Scripsit Abgetoria [scilicet Patricias ] 355, et eo am - 
plius unmeto , Nenn. Hist, Britan, cap. 59. 


Divinity, Metaphysical or Chronological Disputes, Le¬ 
gends, Miracles, and Martyrologies, especially after the 
eighth century. Of all the things committed to wri¬ 
ting by the Heathen Irish, none were more celebrated, 
or indeed in themselves more valuable, than their 
laws ; which were deliver d, as antiently among some 
other nations, in short sentences, commonly in verse, 
no less reputed infallible Oracles than the Lacedemo¬ 
nian Rethrce (75) : and, what’s remarkable, they are 
expresly term’d (76) Celestial Judgements ; for the 
pronouncing of which, the most famous were Forchern , 
Neid, Conla, Eogan, Modan, Moran, King Cormac, 
his Chief Justice Fithil, Fachrna, Maine, Ethnea the 
daughter of Amalgad, and many more. The Celestial 
Judgements were only preserv’d in traditionary poems, 
according to the institution of the Druids, till commit¬ 
ted to writing at the command of (77) Concovar king 
of Ulster ; who dy’d in the year of Christ 48, where¬ 
as Patric begun his Apostleship but in the year 432. 
The Poets that wrote were numberless, of whose 
works several pieces remain still intire, with diverse 
fragments of others. The three greatest incouragers 
of learning among the Heathen Irish monarchs were, 
first, King (78) Achaius, sumamed the Doctor cf Ire¬ 
land, who is said to have built at Tarah an Academy, 
call’d The Court of the Learned (79). ’Twas he that 

(7.5) BetraL 

{76) Breatha mm he. 

(77) CoNCHOBHAR NeSSAN, i. €. MdC NeASSA, 

( 78 ) Eochaidh Ollamheodla. 

(79) Mur-Ollamhan. 



ordain d, for every principal family, hereditary Anti¬ 
quaries ; or, in case of incapacity, the most able of the 
same historical house, with rank and privileges imme¬ 
diately after the Druids. The next promoter of Let¬ 
ters was King (80) Tuathalius, whose surname is 
render’d Bonaventura, tho’ not so properly, and who 
appointed a triennial revision of all the Antiquaries 
Books, by a committee of three Kings or great Lords, 
three Druids, and three Antiquaries. These were to 
cause whatever was approv’d and found valuable in 
those books, to be transcribed into the royal (81) Book 
of Tarah ; which was to be the perpetual standard of 
their history, and by which the contents of all other 
such books shou’d be receiv’d or rejected. Such good 
regulations I say there were made, but not how long 
or how well observ’d : or, if truth is to be preferr’d to all 
other respects, we must own they were but very slightly 
regarded: and that the Bards, besides their poetical 
license, were both mercenary and partial to a scandal¬ 
ous degree. The ordinance however is admirable, and 
deserves more to be imitated, than we can ever expect 
it to be so any where. The third most munificent pat¬ 
ron of Literature was King Cormac, surnamed (82) 
Long-beard, who renew’d the laws about the Antiqua¬ 
ries, re-built and inlarg'd the Academy at Tarah for 
history, law, and military prowess : besides that he was 
an indefatigable distributer of justice, having written 

( 80 ) Tuathal Teachtmhar. 

(81) Leabhar Teamhra. 

JJ& 2) Ulfhada. 



himself abundance of laws still extant. So is his (83) 
Institution of a Prince (84) or his Precepts to his son 
and successor Carbre ( 85) Liffecair, who in like 
manner was not superficially addicted to the Muses. 
Cormac was a great proficient in Philosophy, made 
light of the superstitions of the Druids in his youth ; 
and, in his old age having quitted the scepter, he led 
a contemplative life : rejecting all the Druidical fables 
and idolatry, and acknowledging only one Supreme 
Being, or first Cause. This short account of the pri- 
mevous Irish Learning, whereof you’ll see many proofs 
and particulars in tire more than once mention’d Dis¬ 
sertation concerning the Celtic Language and Colonies , 
to be annext to our Critical History, will, I am confi¬ 
dent, excite your curiosity. 

XIV. The custom therefore, or rather cunning of 
the Druids, in not committing their rites or doctrines 
to writing, has not deprived us as some may be apt to 
imagine, of sufficient materials to compile their His¬ 
tory. For, in the first place, when the Romans be¬ 
came masters of Gaule, and every where mixt with 
the natives ; they con'd not avoid, in that time of light 
and learning, but arrive at the certain knowledge of 
whatever facts they have been pleas’d to hand down 

(83) ’Tis, among other most valuable pieces, in the Col¬ 
lection call’d O Duvegan’s, folio 190. a, now or late in the 
possession of the right honourable the Earl of Ceanric- 
karb. 'There are copies of it elsewhere, but that’s the 
oldest known. 

(84> T 'eagarg Riogh , 

(85) Caxrbre Lifiochair, 



to us, tho’ not alway rightly taking the usages of o- 
ther nations : as it must needs be from a full convic¬ 
tion of the Druidical fraudulent superstitions, and bar¬ 
barous tyranny exercis’d over the credulous people, 
that these same Romans, who tolerated all religions, 
yet supprest this institution in Garde and Britain, with 
the utmost severity. The Druids however were not 
immediately extinguish’d, but only their barbarous, 
tyrannical, or illusory usages. And indeed their hu¬ 
man sacrifices, with their pretended Magic, and an 
authority incompatible with the power of the magi¬ 
strate, were things not to be indured by so wise a state 
as that of the Romans. In the second place, the 
Greec colony of Marseilles, a principal mart of Learn¬ 
ing, could not want persons curious enough, to ac¬ 
quaint themselves with the Religion, Philosophy, and 
Customs of the country, wherein they liv’d. Strabo 
and others give us an account of such. From these 
the elder Greecs had their information, not to speak 
now of the Gauls seated in Greece it self and in Les¬ 
ser Asia, as the later Greecs had theirs from the Ro¬ 
mans ; and, by good fortune, we have a vast number 
of passages from both. But, in the third place, among 
the Gauls themselves and the Britons, among the 
Irish and Albanian Scots, their Historians and Bards, 
did always register abundance of particulars about the 
Druids, whose affairs were in most things inseparable 
from those of the rest of the inhabitants : as they 
were not only the judges in all matters civil or re- - 
ligious, but in a manner the executioners too in crimi- 


nal causes ; and that their sacrifices were very public, 
which consequently made their rites no less observable. 
One thing which much contributed to make them 
known, is, that the King was ever to have a Druid a- 
bout his person ; to pray and sacrifice, as well as to be 
judge for determing emergent controversies, tho’ he 
had a civil judge besides. So he had one of the chief 
Lords to advise him, a Bard to sing the praises of hiss 
ancestors, a Chronicler to register his own actions, a 
Physician to take care of his health, a Musician to in- 
tertain him. Whoever was absent, these by law must 
be ever present, and no fewer than three Controllers 
of his family : which Decemvirate was the institution 
of King Cormac. The same custom was taken up by 
all the Nobles, whereof each had about him his Druid, 
Chief Vassal, Bard, Judge, Physician, and Harper; the 
four last having lands assign’d them, which descended 
to their families, wherein these professions were here¬ 
ditary, as were their Marshal, and the rest of their of¬ 
ficers. After the introducing Christianity, the Druid 
was succeeded by a Bishop or Priest, but the rest con¬ 
tinued on the antient foot : insomuch, that for a long 
time after the English Conquest, the Judges, the Bards, 
Physicians, and Harpers, held such tenures in Ireland. 
The ODuvegans were the hereditary Bards of the 
O Kellies, the OClerys and the OBrodins were also 
hereditary Antiquaries : the O Sheils and the O Can- 
vans were such hereditary Doctors, the Maglanchys 
such hereditary Judges, and so of the rest; for more 
examples, especially in this place, are needless ; it 




’y*CTW P » 


wou’d be but multiplying of names, without ever mak¬ 
ing the subject clearer. Only 1 must remark here, 
from the very nature of things, no less than from facts, 
that, tho’ Cesar be silent about it, there were civil 
Judges in Gaule just as in Ireland, yet under the direc¬ 
tion and controll of the Druids. This has led many 
to imagine, that, because the Druids influenc’d all, 
there were therefore no other judges, which is doubt¬ 
less an egregious mistake. 

XVo Further, tho’ the Druids were exemted from 
bearing arms, yet they finally determined concerning 
Peace and War : and those of that order, who attend¬ 
ed the King and the Nobles, were observed to be the 
greatest make-bates and incendiaries; the most averse 
to Peace in Council, and the most cruel of all others 
in Action. Some of them were aily’d to Kings, and 
many of them were King’s sons, and great numbers of 
them cull’d out of the best families : which you see is 
an old trick, but has not been always effectual enough 
to perpetuate an order of men. This however made 
Historians not to forget them, and indeed several of 
them render’d themselves very remarkable; as the 
Druid Trosdan, who found an antidote against the 
poyson’d arrows of certain Brittish invaders: ( 86 ) 
Cabadius, grandfather to the most celebrated cham¬ 
pion (81 ) Cuculand ; ( 88 ) Tages the father of Mqr- 

( 86 ) Cathbaid. 

(87) Cu CHULA I Da 

(88) Tadhg* 




na, mother to the no less famous (89) Fin mac Cuil : 
Dader, who was kill'd by Eogan, son to Olxll Olom 
King of Munster ; which Eogan was marry’d to 
MoiNic ? the daughter of the Druid Dill. The Druid 
Mogruth. the son of Sinduinn, was the stoutest man 
in the wars of King Cormac : nor less valiant was 
(^90) Dubcomar, the chief Druid of King Fiaciia ; 
and Lugadius Mac-Con the abdicated King of Ireland* 
was treacherously run thro’ the body with a lance by 
the Druid f 91,) Firchisus . Ida and Ono, Lords of 
Coreachlaiin near Roscommon, were Druids ; wherof 
Ono presented his fortress of Imleach-Ono to Patric, 
who converted it into the religious house of Elphin, 
since an (9 C 2) Episcopal See. From the very name of 
(93 ) Lamderg, or Bloody-hand, we learn what sort 
of man the Druid was, who by the vulgar is thought 
to live inchanted in the mountain between Bunncranach 
7 and (94) Fathen in the county of Donegal!. Nor must 
we forget, tho’ out of order of time. King (95) 
Niall of the nine hostage's Arch-Druid, by name (96) 

(89) Finn mhac Cubhaill. 

(90) DubhchomaRo 

{91} Fearchios. 

(92) Ailfinn , from a vast Obelise that stood by a well in 
that place ; and that fell down in the year 1675. The word 
signifies the white Stone, and was corrupted into Oilfinn. 
Some wou’d derive the name from the clearness of the 
fountain, but his by torture: others from one Oileinn, a 
Danish commander, 

(93) Lambhdearg. 

(94) Taobhsaoil • treach . 

(95) Niall Naoighi-allach. 

(96) Laigxjichin mhac Barrecheadha> 



Lagicinus Barchedius ; who procured a most cruel 
war against Eociia King of Munster, for committing 
manslaughter on his son ; and which the Druids mak¬ 
ing a common cause, there was no honor, law, or hu¬ 
manity observ’d towards this King ; whose story, at 
length in our book, will stand as a lasting monument 
of Druidical bloodiness, and a Priest-ridden State. I 
conclude with Bacrach, chief Druid to Conchobhar 
Nessan King of Ulster, who is fabl’d by the Monks 
long after the extinction of the Druids, to have before 
it happen’d, others say at the very time, describ’d the 
Passion of Jesus Christ, in so lively and moveing a 
manner ; that the King transported with rage drew 
his sword, and with inexpressible fury fell a hacking 
and hewing the trees of the wood where he then was, 
which he mistook for the Jews: nay, that he put him¬ 
self into such a heat as to dy of this frenzy. But even 
O Flaherty fully confutes this silly fiction, (97) not 
thinking it possible that such circumstances cou’d be 
any way inferr’d from an Eclipse, which is the foun¬ 
dation of the story, nox that a clearer revelation shou’d 
be made of those things to the Irish Druids, than to 
the Jewish Prophets ; and, finally, by shewing, that 
Conchobhar dy’d quietly in his bed fifteen years after 
the crucifixion of Christ. Bacrach however was a 
great man, and the King himself had a Druid for his 
step-father and instructor. 

XVI. It can be no wonder therefore, that men thus 
(97) Ogyg. 



sacred in their function, illustrious in their alliances, 
eminent for their learning, and honour’d for their valor, 
as well as dreaded for their power and influence, should 
also be memorable both in the poetry and prose of their 
country. And so in fact they are, notwithstanding 
what Dudley Forbes, before mention’d, did, in a let¬ 
ter to an Irish writer, (98) in the year 1683, affirm: 
namely, that, in Patric’s time no fewer than 180 Vo¬ 
lumes, relating to the affairs of the Druids, were burnt 
in Ireland. Dr. Kennedy says, (99) that Patric burnt 
300 volumns , stuff with the fables and superstitions of 
Heathen Idolatry: unfit, adds he, to be transmitted to 
posterity. But, pray, how so? why are Gallic or Irish 
superstitions more unfit to be transmitted to posterity, 
than those of the Greecs and Romans ? Why sfaou’d 
Patric be more squeamish in this respect than Moses 
or the succeding Jewish Prophets, who have transmit¬ 
ted to all ages the Idolatries of the Egyptians, Pheni- 
cians, Caldeans, and other Eastern nations ? What an 
irreparable destruction of history, what a deplorable 
extinction of arts and inventions, what an unspeakable 
detriment to Learning, what a dishonor upon human 
understanding, has the cowardly proceeding of the ig¬ 
norant, or rather of the interested, against unarm’d 
monuments at all times occasion’d! And yet this book¬ 
burning and letter-murdring humor, tho’ far from being 
commanded by Christ, has prevail’d in Christianity 

(98) O Flaherty. 

(99) Dissertation about the Family of the Stuarts, P>ef. 
page 29. 



from the beginning: as in the Acts of the Apostles we 
read, (100J that many of them which believ'd—and us'd 
curious arts, brought their books together , and burnt 
them before all men; and they counted the price of them, 
and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver, or about 
three hundred pounds sterling. This was the first in¬ 
stance of burning books among Christians; and ever 
since that time the example has been better follow’d, 
then any precept of the Gospel. 

XVII. From what we have hitherto observ’d, you 
see that our Historians, My Lord, do, in spite of all 
chances, abound with matter enough to revive and il¬ 
lustrate the memory of the Druids. Besides that the 
rites and opinions of other nations serve not only to 
give light to theirs, but were many of them of Druidi- 
cal or Celtic extraction. This no body will deny of 
the Aboriginal Italians, who having been often over¬ 
ran by the Gauls, and having several Gallic Colonies 
planted among them, they partook both of their Lan¬ 
guage and Religion ; as will be very easily evinc’d in 
our Dissertation, and has been already tolerably done 
by father Pezron in his Celtic Originals. Diogenes 
Laertius, in the Proem of his Philosophical History, 
reckons the Druids among the chief Authors of the 
Barbarous Theology and Philosophy, long anterior to 
the Greecs, their disciples: anAPhurnutus, in his treatise 
of the nature of the Gods, says most (101) expresly, that 

(100) Acts 19. 19. 

(1 01) Torn de poll&s kai poikilas peri thcon gegonenai para tois palaiois Hel- 
Lesi xnythopoias, h5s allai men epi Magois gcgonasin, allai de par’ aigyptiois 


among the many and various fables which the antienf 
Greecs had about the Gods, some were derived from the 
Mages, some from the Egyptians and Gauls, others 
from the Africans and Phrygians, and others from o- 
ther nations : for which he cites Homer as a witness, 
nor is there any thing that bears a greater witness to 
it self. This however is not all: for, over and above 
the several helps I have mention’d, there are likewise 
numerous monuments of the worship of the Druids, 
their valor, policy, and manner of habitation, still re¬ 
maining in France, in Britain, in Ireland, and in the 
adjacent Islands ; many of ’em intire, and the rest by 
the help of these easily conceiv’d. Most are of stone, 
as the lesser ones are of glass, and others of earth bak’d 
extremely hard. The two last kinds were ornaments 
or magical gems, as were also those of Chrystal and 
Agat, either perfectly spherical, or in the figure of a 
lentill ; or shap’d after any of the other ways, which 
shall be describ’d and portray’d in our book. The 
Glass Amulets or Ornaments are in the Lowlands of 
Scotland, call’d Adder-stanes, and by the Welsh Gleini 
na Droedh, or Druid-Glass, which is in Irish Glaine 
nan Druidhe, Glaine in this language signifying Glass, 
tho’ obsolete now in the Welsh dialect, and preserv’d 
only in this Gleini na Droedh, But the more massy 
Monuments shall, in a day or two, be the subject of 
another Letter from, My Lord, 

Your Lordship’s most oblig’d and very 
June 2.5, 1718. Humble Servant, 

kai Keltois, kai Libysi, kai Phryxi, kai tois allols ethnesi. Cap. 17. Thus the 
Manusct ipt very accurately : hut the printed copy has tois allois Hellesi superflu¬ 
ously in the end > and wants Phryx, before , which is very essential. 



To Hie Rigid Honourable the Lord 


1 ehmit me at this time, My Lord, according to the 
promise with which I concluded my last, to send to 
your Lordship A Speciman of the Monuments relating 
to the Druids , that are still extant, either intire or im¬ 
perfect. I have ever indeavourd to avoid deserving 
the blame, with which an approv'd author charges 
those ; wlio> while very conversant in the history of o- 
ther places, appear to be absolute strangers in their 


own country : and as I know no man better versed in 
foren affairs or in our own, which an able statesman 
will never separate, nor a greater master of antlent or 
modern history than yourself; so I am apt to hope, 
that the collection of Brittish and Irish Antiquities I 
here take the liberty to present to your Lord- 
ship, may not prove altogether disagreeable. The 
French examples, a few excepted, I reserve for the 
larger work, and in the mean time I procede. On the 
tops of mountains and other eminences in Ireland, in 
Wales, in Scotland, in the Scottish lianas and in the 
He of Man, where things have been least disorder’d or 
displac’d by the frequency of inhabitants, or want of 
Letter ground for cultivation, there are great heaps of 



stones, like the(l)MEnctraiAL heaps (2) of the Greecs, 
whereof when we treat of the Celtic Mercury in par¬ 
ticular. The heaps, which make my present subject, 
consist of stones of all sorts, from one pound to a 
hundred. They are round in form, and somewhat ta¬ 
pering or diminishing upwards : but on the summit 
%vas always aflat stone, for a use we shall presently 
explain. These heaps are of all bignesses, some of 
them containing at least a hundred cartload of stones: 
and if any of ’em be grown over with earth, his pure¬ 
ly accident in the long course of time wherein they 
have been neglected ; for no such thing was intended 
in the first making of them, as in the sepulchral bar- 
rows of the Gothic nations, which are generally of 
earth. Such a heap is in the antient Celtic language, 
and in eveiy dialect of it, call’d Carn ; and every 
Gam so dispos’d, as to be in sight of some other. Yet 
they are very different from the rude and much smaller 
pyramyds, which the old Irish erect along the roads in 
memory of the dead, by them call’d Leach da, and made 
of the first stones that offer. From the devotional 
rounds perform’d about the Cams in times of Heathen¬ 
ism, and which, we shall see anon, are yet continued 
in many places of the Scottish Highlands and the He¬ 
brides, any circle, or turning about, is in Armoric call¬ 
ed cern ( 3 ) as cehna in that dialect is to make such a 

(!) Prossoreuousi de tons lithous tois Hermais hecastos ton parion on; hena 
tina an tois prostet&eis, &c. Phurnut. de Nat Don cap . 16* 

(2) Hermaia, i. e. Acervi Mercuriales, 

(3) C is pronounc’d as K. ■ - 

N '' ' 



turn. On the Carn call’d Crig-y-dyrn, in the parish 
of Tredech in Carmarthenshire, the flat stone on the 
top is three yards in length, five foot over, and from 
ten to twelve inches thick. The circumference of this 
Carn at the bottom is about sixty yards, and ’tis about 
six yards high ; the ascent being very easy, tho’ I sup¬ 
pose there was originally a ladder for this purpose. 

II. Let this Carn serve for an example of the rest, 
as to their form and bulk ; only we may take notice 
here by the rvay, what odd imaginations men are apt 
to have of things they do not understand. Thus Mr. 
William Sacheverell, Governor of the lie of Man 
under the right honorable the Earl of Derby in part 

of King William’s reign, mistaking these Cams in his 
(4) Description of that Hand, “ The tops of the moun- 
“ tains (says he), seem nothing but the rubbish of na- 
ture, thrown into barren and unfruitful heaps, as 
“ near two thirds of the Hand are of this sort. Some 
« seem particularly worthy our remark, as the two Ba- 
« rowls, Skeyall, the Watch-hill of Knock-a-low : but 
“ particularly Sneafeld, where it is not unpleasant,” 
(continues he), “ when the weather is clear and se- 
“ rene, to see three noble nations surrounding one of 
“ the most obscure in the universe: which is, as it were, 
« the center of the Brittish empire.” These heaps our 
author thought the work of chance, tho’ artfully con¬ 
triv’d in all the Celtic countries ; as Dr. Martin 
thought a Cam in the He of Saint Kilda, wherof pre- 

(4) Page 13. 



sently, to be a signal effect of Providence : But as for 
the Mannian nation, which is visibly the center of the 
Brittish world, it is very undeservedly become obscure, 
whether we consider what has been transacted in for¬ 
mer ages, it having been the theater of many surpriz¬ 
ing revolutions : or the particular usages in religious 
and civil affairs, that even now obtain there, especially 
their laws, which still continue mostly unwritten, for 
which reason they call them Breast-laws, being with¬ 
out expense or delay, and undoubted remains of the 
justice of the Druids. For, wherever they were not 
themselves a party, neither the Egyptians, nor Persians, 
nor Greecs, nor Romans, did surpass the wisdom, e- 
quity, and strictness of the Druids in the sanction or 
execution of their laws ; which made all sorts of men 
leave their controversies of every kind to their deter¬ 
mination, without any further appeal. Nor with out some 
regard in fact, and a vast deal more in profession, to 
moral virtue, cou’d any set of Impostors in any count¬ 
ry possibly support their false doctrines and supersti¬ 
tious observances ; which receive credit from hence, as 
the teachers of ’em do all their power and authority, 
in proportion to the austerities they practise, or the ap¬ 
pearances they have of devotion. I say appearances, 
because this in most, join’d to real self-denial in a few, 
who by the rest are deem’d silly tho’ useful creatures, 
will long uphold an institution both erroneous and ty¬ 
rannical : which is the reason that, to this hour, the 
memory of the Druids is highly venerable among those 
of the lie of Man; and that their laws are infinitely 


preferred to all others by the Manksmen, who say the 

family of Derby comes nearest their excellence of any 
race of men now in the world. Wherefore, as well in 
these regards, as in many others essential to my de¬ 
sign, I shall, in the body of the history, give a true idea 
of the past and present customs of this antient, though 
mixt people. Their numerous Cams, of whose origin 
anon, are not the onely monuments they have of the 
Druids.. But that the chief College of these Philoso¬ 
phers was ewer establish’d there, and much less any 
such College appointed by the Kings of Scotland, as 
Hector Boethius feign’d, I shall demonstrate to be pure 
romance : and at the same time will not fail doing jus¬ 
tice to the memory of the great Hero and Legislator of the 
Hand, Manannan- ; reported, after the manner of those 
ages, to have been the Son of (5) Lear, or the God of 
the Sea, from his extraordinary skill in navigation and 
commerce. He was truely the son of (6) Alladius, 
who was of royal blood, and is own name Orbsen; but 
call’d Manannan from his country, and kill’d by one 
Ullin near Galway, in Ireland: of all which the par¬ 
ticulars will be given in their proper place, especially 
the Republic of Manannan ; who, from his instruction 
by the Druids, was reputed a consummate Magician, 
and was indeed most happy in stratagems of war both 
by land and sea. Mr. Sacheverell, except in affirming 
Manannan, whom he mis-names Mannan, to have beers 

(5) Manannan keiiac Leir. 

(ft) A I, I. A IB. 



10 ! 

(7) the father, founder, and legislator of the Hand, is 
out in every thing he says concerning him : for, in¬ 
stead of living about the beginning of the fifth century, 
he liv’d as many centuries before Christ; and so cou’d 
not be contemporary with Patric, the Apostle of Man 
as well as Ireland. Neither was Manannan the son of a 
King of Ulster, nor yet the brother of Fergus II. (8) 
King of Scotland : and as for his not being able to get 
any information what became of him, I have already 
told that he was kill’d in Ireland, and by whom. 

III- I 11 process of time the Cams, to which we now 
return, serv’d every where for beacons, as many of them 
as stood conveniently for this purpose : but they were 
originally design’d, as we are now going to see, for 
fires of another nature. The fact stood thus* On May- 
eve the Druids made prodigious fires on those Cams, 
which being every one, as we said, in sight of some o- 
ther, cou’d not but afford a glorious show over a whole 
nation. These fires were in honour of Beal or Bealan 9 
latiniz’d by the Roman authors into (9) Belenus, by 
which name the Gauls and their colonies understood the 
Sun : and therefore to this hour the first day of May 
is by the Ab-original Irish call’d La Bealteine , or the 
day of Beleris fire (10) T I remember one of those Cams 

( 7 ) Page 20 . 

(8) Ibid* 

(9) Herod ian. Anson. Capitolin . Teriuh §c. Videaniur 
eiiam Grater, et Heines, in Inscriptionibus* 

{10} Eiiam Bealltaine, § antiquitus Bel tine. 



on Fawn-hill within some miles of Londonderry, known 
by no other name but that of Bealteine , facing another 
such Cam on the top of Inch-hill : and Gregory of 
Tours , in his book ch? Gloria Confessorum , mentions a 

(11) hill of the same name (12) between Artom and 
Itiom in Auvergne in France, from,, which Riom 
might be fairly view’d. But tlio’ later writers affirm 
with Yalesius, in his Galliarum notitia , this hill 
to be now unknown; yet Belem’s heap on the top of it, is 
a sure mark whereby to discover it. His circular tem¬ 
ple, as we shall see hereafter, is still there, if not the 
the Cam, having certainly existed in Gregory’s time. 
Abundance of such heaps remain still on the mountains 
in France, and on the Alps. Those writers however are 
not to be blamed, as being strangers to the origin or 
use of such heaps ; and not able to distinguish them 
from certain other heaps, under which robbers and 
traitors were bury’d. These last are call’d in general 
by the Weish Carn-Vraduyr and Garn-IJiadron (13) ; 
or particularly after the proper names of the underly¬ 
ing criminals, as Carnedh-Leuetyn , Garnedh’David , 
and such like. As far from Auvergne as the Hand of 
Saint Kilda, in the 58th degree of northern latitude, 
there is another hill denominated from Belemts, which 
more consonant to the Celtic idiom Herodian (14) 

(11) Cum [ex Artonensi vico] venisset in cacumen mantis 
Se1enatensis 3 de quo vici Ricomugensis pusitio contemplatur $ 
vidit kos, §c. Be Gloria Confessor, cap. 5. 

(12) Mods Beienatensis. 

(13) Traitor and thief* Caro : in Irish Carmbhrateoir 
& Cam an Ladroin. 

(14) Lite 8. Cap. 7, 



writes Belin, corruptly call’d Otter- Veaul ( 1,5 j.or BelerCs 
heigth ; on which is a vast heap, whereof Doctor Mar¬ 
tin, in his account of that Hand, did not know the use, 
as I said before (16): but the Cam being on the hill 
just above the landing place, he thinks it so order’d by 
Providence ; that by rouling down these stones, the in¬ 
habitants might prevent any body’s coming ashore 
against their will. In the church of Birsa, near which 
stands a very remarkable Obelise, at the west end of 
the Hand call’d Pomona, or the mainland, in Orkney, 
there is an erect stone, with the word Belus inscrib’d 
on it in antient characters. Yet whether this be any 
remembrance of Belenus, better according to the Irish 
idiom Belus, or be the Monument of a native Prince 
so call’d, I shall not here decide. The fact it self is 
told us by Mr. Brand (17), in his Description of Ork¬ 
ney and Zetland. I wish he had also told us, of what 
kind those antient characters are, or that he had exact¬ 
ly copy’d them : and if there be a man’s portraiture on 
the stone, as Dr. Martin affirms (18), the dress and 
posture will go a great way towards clearing the 

IV. But to make no longer digression, May-day is 
likewise call’d La Bealteine by the Highlanders of 
Scotland, who are no contemtible part of the Celtic 

(1.5) Uachdar Bheel. 

(16) Page 64. * 

(17) Page 14. 

(18) Page 358, 



off-spring. So it is in the lie of Man : and in Armoric 
a Priest is still call’d Belec, or the servant of Bel, and 
Priesthood Belegieth. Two such fires, as we have 
mention’d, were kindl’d by one another on May-eve in 
every village of the nation, as well throout all Garde, 
as in Britain, Ireland, and the adjoining lesser Hands, 
between which fires the men and the beasts to be sa¬ 
crific’d were to pass : from whence came the proverb, 
hetiveen BeVs (19) two fires, meaning one in a great 
strait, not knowing how to extricate himself. One of 
the fires was on the Carn, another on the ground. On 
the eve of the first day of November (20), there were 
also such fires kindl’d, accompany’d, as they constantly 
were, with sacrifices and feasting. These November 
fires were in Ireland call’d Tim tlach'd-gha, from 
tlach'd-gha (21), a place hence so call’d in Meath, 
where the Arch-Druid of the realm had his fire on the 
said eve; and for which piece of ground, because origi¬ 
nally belonging to Munster, but appointed by the su¬ 
preme Monarch for this use, there was an annual ac- 
knowledgement, call’d sgreaboll, paid to the King of 
that Province. But that all the Druids of Ireland as¬ 
sembl’d there on the first of November, as several 
authors injudiciously write ; is not only a thing impro¬ 
bable, but also false in fact: nor were they otherwise 

there at that time, nor all at any time together in one 

place, but as now all the Clergy of England are said 


(19) Ittir dha theine Bheil* 

( c 20) Samhbhuin. 

(21) Fire-grouud. 



to be present in their Convocations; that is, by their 
representatives and delegates. Thus Cesar is likewise 
to be understood, when, after speaking of the Arch- 
Druid of Gaule, lie says that (22) the Druids at ct cer¬ 
tain time of the Y'ear assembl'd in a consecrated grove 
in the country of the Garnutes (23), which is reckon'd 
the middle region of all Gaule . But of these assemblies 
in their place. On the foresaid eve all the people of 
the country, out of a religious persuasion instill’d into 
them by the Druids, extinguish’d their fires as intireiy; 
as the Jews are wont to sweep their houses, the night 
before the feast of unleavened bread . Then every master 
of a family was religiously oblig’d, to take a portion of 
the consecrated fire home, and to kindle the fire a new 
in his house, which for the ensuing year was to be lucky 
and prosperous. He was to pay however for his future 
happiness, whether the event prov’d answerable or not: 
and tho’ his house shou’d be afterwards burnt, yet he 
must deem it the punishment of some new sin, or ascribe 
it to any thing, rather than to want of virtue in the 
consecration of the fire, or of validity in the benedic¬ 
tion of the Druid ; who, from officiating at the Cams* 
was likewise call’d (24) Cairneach, a name that con¬ 
tinu’d to signify a Priest, even in the Christian times, 

(22) li [Druides] certo anni tempore in finibus Carnutum , 
quae regio totius Galliae media habetur 9 considunk in luco 
consecrato . De hello Gallico. lib. 6. cap, 13. 

(23) Now le Pais Chartrain , the place Dreux . 

(24) This is the true origin of the word Cairneach , as 
signifying a Priest: but not deriv'd,, as men ignorant of 




But if any man had not clear’d with the Druids for the 
last year’s dues, he was neither to have a spark of this 
holy fire from the Cams, nor durst any of his neighbors 
let him take the benefit of theirs, under pain of Ex- 
communication ; which, as managed by the Druids, 
was worse than death. If he wou’d brew therefore or 
bake, or roast or boil, or warm himself and family, in 
a word, if he wou’d live the winter out, the Druids 
dues must be paid by the last of October: so that this 
trick alone was more effectual, than are all the Acts 
of Parliament made for recovering our present Cler¬ 
gy’s dues : which Acts are so many and so frequent, 
that the bare enumeration of them wou’d make an 
indifferent volum. Wherefore I cannot but admire 
the address of the Druids, in fixing this ceremony 
of rekindling family-fires to the beginning of Novem¬ 
ber, rather than to May or Midsummer, when there 
was an equal opportunity for it. 

V. A world of places (25) are denominated from 
those Cams of all sorts, as in Wales Carn-Lhechart, 
Carn-Lhaid; in Scotland Carn-Wath, Carn-tullock, 
Drum-cairn, Glen-cairn; in Ireland Cam-mail, Carn- 
aret, Carnan-tagher, Carnan-tober (26) ; and in Nor¬ 
thumberland, as in other parts of the North of Eng¬ 
land, they are sometimes call’d Laws or Lows, a name 

antiquity fancy, from Coroineach, alluding to the crown*, 
form’d tonsure of the Monks, not near so old as this word, 

( 25 ) The places are numberless in all these countries, 

(26) Carnan is the diminutive of Cam . 



they also give the Gothic Barrows. The Lowland 
Scots call ’em in the plural number Cairns, whence se¬ 
veral Lordships are nam’d, as one in Lennox, another 
in Galloway, to mention no more, from which the sur¬ 
name of Cairns. The family of Carne, in Wales, is 
from the like original: but not, as some have thought, 
the OKearnys (27) of Ireland ; one of which, Mr. 
John Kearny, Treasurer of Saint Patric’s in Dublin, 
was very instrumental in getting the New Testament 
translated into Irish, about the end of the last century 
but one. As to this fire-worship, which, by the way, 
prevail’d over all the world, the Celtic nations kind¬ 
led other fires on midsummer eve, which are still con¬ 
tinued by the Roman Catholics of Ireland; making 
them in all their grounds, and carrying flaming brands 
about their Corn-fields. This they do likewise all o- 
ver France, and in some of the Scottish lies. These 
Midsummer fires and. sacrifices, were to obtain a bles¬ 
sing on the fruits of the earth, now becoming ready for 
gathering ; as those of the first of May, that they 
m ight prosperously grow : and those of the last of Oc¬ 
tober, were a Thanksgiving for finishing their Harvest. 
But in all of ’em regard was also had to the several de¬ 
crees of increase and decrease in the heat of the Sun ; 


as in treating of their Astronomy, and manner of 
reckoning time, we shall clearly show. Their other fes¬ 
tivals, with their peculiar observations, shall be likewise 
explain’d each in their proper Sections ; especially that 
of New-year’s day, or the tenth of March, their fourth 

(07) 0 Ccar/iaigk, besides 0 Ceatharnaigh. 




,« ■ A'-rir^r^- tfm ^ rr fr - i l i i i T M ‘fi" , l T WIMII I Hi l l 1 1 1 il 11 YOU i\ Mil111 

——— —.— ^^j ; ,, ,, i,, r 7 . . j ...—!L 

grand festival, which was none of the least solemn: and 
which was the day of seeking, cutting, and consecra¬ 
ting their wonder-working All-heal, or Misselto of Oak. 
This is the ceremony to which Virgil alludes by his 
golden-branch, in the sixth book of the Aeneid, for 
which there is incontestable proof, which we shall give 
in a section on this subject. ’Tis Pliny who says, that 
the Druids call’d it, in their language, by a word sig¬ 
nifying (28) All-heal; which word in the Armorican 
dialect is oll-yach, in the Welsh ol-hiach, and in the 
Irish Uil-iceach. Here by the way, we may observe, 
that as the Greecs had many words from the Barbarians, 
for which Plato in his (29) Cratylus, judges it would 
be lost labor to seek Etymologies in their own langu¬ 
age : so it is remarkable, that certain feasts of Apollo 


were call’d (80) Carnea, from the killing of no body 
knows what Prophet Carnus. Some said that he was 
the son of Jupiter and Europa, kill’d for a Magician 
by one Ales ; and others yet, that Carni was a com¬ 
mon name for an order of Prophets in Acarnania. 
Apollo himself was surnamed Carnus (31); and, from 
him, May was call’d the Carnean Month. Nay there 
were Carnean Priests, and a particular kind of Music, 
which we may interpret the Cairn-tunes, was appro- 

( 28 ) Omnia-sanantem appellantes suo vocabulo, & c . Lib. 
4 16. Cap. 44. 

( 29) Ei tis zetoi tanta kata ten Helleniken phonen, hos eoikotos keitai ; al¬ 
ia me tat’ ekemen, ex hes to onoraa tymgchanei on, oistha lioti aporoi art» 
Inter opera, edit . Paris. Vol. 1, Pag 1 , 409- 

(00) Ta Karnea. 

(31) Earneios men. 



priated to those festivals in May, perfectly answering 
those of the Celtic tribes. It is therefore highly proba¬ 
ble, that the Greecs did learn these things from the 
Gauls their conquerors, and in many places seated 
among them; or from some of their travellers in Gaule 
it seif, if net from the Phocean colony at Marseilles. 
We know further, that the making of hymns was a 
special part of the Bards office ; who by Strabo, are 
expresly term’d Hymn-makers (82): and I show’d be¬ 
fore, that the antient Greecs, by their own confession, 
learnt part of their Philosophy, and many of their sa¬ 
cred fables, from the Gauls. So that this criticism is 
not so void of probability, as many which pass current 
enough in the world. However, I fairly profess to give 

v ■ \ 

it onely for a conjecture ; which I think preferable to 
the farr-fetcht and discordant accounts of the Greecs: 


who, in spight of Plato and good sense, wou’d needs 
be fishing for the origin of every thing in their own 
language. In the mean time it is not unworthy our 
remark, that as (33) Priz es were adjudg’d to the Vic¬ 
tors in this Carnean Music among the Greecs : so the 
distributing of Prizes to the most successful Poets, was 
no less usual among the Gauls and their colonies; where¬ 
of there is undeniable proof in the Brittish and Irish 
Histories, as will be seem in our Section concerning the 


VI Another Criticism relating immediately to 

(32) Hymnetai. 

(33) Ximotheos——ta Karnela agonizomeacs, Plutarch . in Apophthegm* 



. Apollo, for which I think this a proper place, I give 
as something more than a conjecture. In the Lordship 
of Merchiston, near Edinburgh, was formerly dug up a 
stone with an Inscription to Apollo Grannus; concern¬ 
ing which Sir James Dalrymple Baronet, in his second 
edition of Cambdcn's Description of Scotland, thus ex¬ 
presses himself after his (34) author. Who this* Apol¬ 
lo Grannus might be, and whence he should have his 
j name, not one, to my knowledge, of our grave Senate 
of Antiquaries hitherto cou'd ever telL But if I 
might be allow'd, from out of the lowest bench, to 
speak what I think ; I wou'd say that Apollo Grannus, 
among the Romans, was the same that (35) Apollon Aker- 
sekomes, that is, Apollo with long hair, among the 
Greecs: for Isidore calls the long hair of the Goths 
Grannos. This consequence will by no means hold : 
for what are the Goths to the Rom ans, who exprest this 
Greec by intonsus Apollo ? And since Goths speak¬ 
ing Latin had as little to do in the shire of Lothian, 
it will not be doubted, but that it was some Roman 
who paid this vow ; as soon as ’its known, that, besides 
the man’s name Quintus Lusius Sabinianus, Grian , 
among the many (36) Celtic names of the Sun, was 

(34) This passage in Gamrben is in, the 897th page of 
Churchill’s edition, anno 1695. 

(35) Appollon akersekoirtes item akeirekomes. 

(36) Besides the Suns religious attribute of Bel, Beal, 
Belin, or Belesus, it is call’d llayl in Welsh, Haul in 
Cornish, //col in Armonc \ in all which the ssputiie h is 
put for as in a world of such other words : for any word 
beginning with s in the antient Celtic, does in the oblique 
cases begin with A. Yet s is still retain’d in the Armoric 
J)isul 3 in the Cambrian Dydhsye , and theCornubian Dezil ; 


one, being the common name of it still in Irish: and 
that, from his beams, Greannach in the same language 
signifies long-hair d, which is a natural epithet of the 
Sun in all nations. There is no need therefore of go¬ 
ing for a Gothic derivation to Isidore , in whom now I 
read Scots instead of Goths ; and not, as I fancy, with¬ 
out very good reason. It wou’d be superfluous to produce 
instances, the thing is so common, to show that the 
Romans, to their own names of the Gods, added the 
names or attributes under which they were invok’d in 
the country, where they happen’d on any occasion to 
sojourn. Nor was this manner of topical worship un- 
known to the antient Hebrews, who are forbid to fol¬ 
low it by Moses in these words : (87) Enquire not af¬ 
ter their Gods , saying , how did these nations serve their 
Gods ? even so will I do likewise . Grian therefore 
znd Greannach explain the (38) Lothian Inscription 

that is to say, Sunday . It was formerly Diasoil in Irish, 
whence still remain Solus light, Soillse clearness, Soillseach 
bright or sunny, Solleir manifest, and several more such* 
’Tis now call’d Dia Domhnaigh , or Dies Dominions , accords 
ing to the general use of ail Christians, 

(37) Deut. xii. 30. 

(38) This Inscription, as given us by Cambden from 
Sir Peter Young, preceptor to King James VI. [for the 
Laird of Merchiston’s Exposition of the Apocalyps I never 
saw] runs thus4 

Q. Lusius 


Froc * 

0 Procurator, . 




very naturally, in the antient language of the Scots 
themselves, spoken still in the Highlands and Western 
lies, as well as in Ireland, without any need of having 
recourse to Gothland, or other foren countries. 

VII. To return to our Cam-fires, it was customary 
for the Lord of the place, or his son, or some other 
person of distinction, to take the entrals of the sacri¬ 
fic’d animal in his hands, and walking barefoot over 
the coals thrice, after the flames had ceas’d, to carry 
them strait to the Druid, who waited in a whole skin 
at the Altar. If the Nobleman escap’d harmless, it 
was reckon’d a good omen, welcom’d with loud accla¬ 
mations : but if he receiv’d any hurt, it was deem’d 
unlucky both to the community and to himself. Thus 
I have seen the people running and leaping thro’ the 
St. John’s fires in Ireland, and not onely proud of pas¬ 
sing unsing’d: but, as if it were some kind of lustra¬ 
tion, thinking themselves in a special manner blest by 
this ceremony, of whose original nevertheless they 
were wholly ignorant in their imperfect imitation of it. 
Yet without being appriz’d of all this, no reader, how¬ 
ever otherwise learned, can truely apprehend the be¬ 
ginning of the Consul Flaminius’s speech to Equan- 
us the Sabin, at the battle of Thrasimenus, thus intel¬ 
ligently related by (39) Silius Italicus. 

Aug * * Augusti. 

y s. L. V. M * * Votum susceptum solvit 

lubens merito. 

(39) Turn Soracte satum, praestantem corpore el armis. 



Then seeing Equ anus, near Soracte horn, 

In person, as in arms, the comelyest youth ; 

JVhose country manner ’ tis, when th* archer keen 
Divine Apollo joys in burning HEAPS, 

The sacred Entrals thro * the fire unhurt 
To carry thrice: so may you always tread f 
With unscorch’d feet, the consecrated coals; 

And o’er the heat victorious, swiftly bear 
The solemn gifts to pleas’d Apollo’s Altar . 

Now let ail the Commentators on this writer be corn 
suited* and then it will appear what sad guess-work 
they have made about this passage; which is no less 
true of an infinite number of passages in other authors 
relating to such customs: for a very considerable part of 
Italy follow’d most of the Druidical rites, as the in- 
habitants of such places happened to be of Gallic ex¬ 
traction, which was the case of many Cantons in that 
delicious country. But this is particularly true of the 
Umbrians and Sabins, who are by all authors made 
the (4<0) antientest people of Italy, before the coming 
thither of any Greec Colonies. But they are by (41) 

Aequanum noscens ; patrio cui ritus in arvo , 

Dum pins Arcitenens incensis gaudet ACERV1S, 

Exta ter innocuos late portare per ignes: 

Sic in Apollinea semper vestigia pruna 
Inviolata teras ; victorque vaporis, ad aras 
Dona serenato referas Solennia Phcerg. 

Lib. 5. ver. 175. 

(40) Dionys. Halicarnass. Antiq . Rom. lib. 1. Piin « 
Hist. Nat . lib. 3. cap. 14. Flor. lib. 1. cap. 17, &c. 

(41) Bocchus absolvit Gallorum veterurn propaginem 
Umbros esse . Poly hist. cap. 8. 



Solinus from the historian Bocchus, by (42) Servius from 
the elder JSlarc Antony, by (43) Isidore also and (44) 
Tzetzes, in direct terms stil’d the issue of the antient 
Gauls, or a branch of them t and Dionysius Halicar- 
nasseus, the most judicious of Antiquaries, proves out 
of Zenodotus that the Sabins were descendants of the 

Umbrians ; or, (45) as he expresses it, Umbrians un- 


der the name of Sabins . The reason I am so particu¬ 
lar on this head, is, that the mountain (46) Soracte is 
in the Sabin country, in the district of the Faliscans, 
about twenty miles to the north of Rome, and on the 
west side ef the Tyber. On the top of it were the 
Grove and Temple of Apollo, and also his Cam (47), 
to which Silius, in the verses just quoted out of him, 
alludes. Pliny has preserved to us the very (48) 
name of the particular race of people, to which the 
performing of the above described annual ceremony be- 

(42) Sane Umbros Gallorum veterum propaginem esse , 
Marcus Antonios refert. In lib. 12. Aeneid. ante fin. 

(43) Umbri Italiae gens est, sed Gallorum veterum pro - 
pago. Origin, lib. 9. cap. 3. 

(44) Ombroi genos Galaticon e Galatoo. Schol. in Lycophron • Alex, a? 
ver. 1360. 

(45) Sabinous ex Ombrikon. Antiq, Rom, lib . 1, 

(46) Now Monte di San sylvestro • 

(47) Aeervus v 

(48) Hand proculurbe Roma, in Faliscorum agro fami* 
liae sunt paucae, quae vocantur Hirpi^e ; quaeque sacrifici q 
annuo, quod fit admontem Soracte Apqllini, super ambus - 
tarn ligni struem ambulantes, non aduruntur: et ob id perpe - 
tno senatus consulto militiae, aliorumque munerum, vacation 
nem habent Hist. Nat. lib. 2. cap. 2. Idem ex eodern Soiio, 
Polyhist* cap* 8. 



longed : nor was it for nothing that they ran the risk 
of blistering their soles, since for this they were exemted 
from serving in the wars , as well as from the expense 
and treble of several offices . They were called Hir- 
pins,» Virgil, much elder than Silius or Pliny, in¬ 
troduces Aruns, one of that family, forming a design 
to kill Camilla, and thus praying for success to A- 


0 patron of Sor acte’s high abodes , 

Phebus, the ruling pow*r among the Gods ! 

Whom first we serve, whole woods of unctuous pint 
Burn on thy HEAP , and to thy glory shine: 

By thee protected, with our naked soles 

Thro ’ flames unsing'd we pass 3 and tread the kindl'd coals 0 

Give me, propitious pow’r , to wash away 

The stains of this dishonourable day ( 49 ). 

Dry den’s Version. 

A Celtic Antiquary, ignorant of the origin of the Um¬ 
brians and Sabins, wou’d imagine, when reading what 
sast on Soracte , that it was some Gallic, Brittish, or 
Irish mountain, the rites being absolutely the same. 
We do not read indeed in our Irish books, what pre¬ 
servative against fire w r as used by those, who ran bare- 
:bot over the burning coals of the Cams : and, to be 
rare, they woxfd have the common people piously be- 

149-) Summe Deum, sancii custos Soractis , Apollo* 

Quem primi colimus, cui pineus ardor A CERT0 
Pascitur; et medium, freti pie tale, per ignem 
Cultores multa premimus vestigia pruna : 

Da $ pater , hoc nostris aboleri dedecus armis. 

Aen. lib. 11, ver, 785. 

11 6 



lieve they used none. Yet that they really did, no less 
than the famous fire-eater, whom I lately saw making 
so great a figure at London, men of penetration and 
uncorrupted judgements will never question. But we 
are not merely left to our judgements, for the fact is 
sufficiently attested by that prodigy of knowledge, and 
perpetual opposer ofSuperstition, MarcusVarro; who, 
as Servius on the above-cited passage of Virgil af¬ 
firms (50), describ’d the very ointment of which the 
Hirpins made use, besmearing their feet with it, when 
they walked thro’ the fire. Thus at all times have the 
multitude, that common prey of Priests and Princes, 
been easily gull’d ; swallowing the secrets of Natural 
Philosophy for Divine Miracles, and ready to do the 
greatest good or hurt, not under the notions of vice or 
virtue : but barely as directed by men, who find it 
their interest to deceive them. 

VIII. But leaving the Druids for a while, there 
are over and above the Cams, in the Highlands of 
Scotland, and in the adjacent lies numberless Obe¬ 
li scs, or stones set up on end ; some thirty, some 
twenty-four foot high ; others higher or lower: and 
this sometimes where no such stones are to be dug, 
Wales being likewise full of them ; and some there are 
in the least cultivated parts of England, with very 
many in Ireland. In most places of this last kingdom, 

(50) Sed Varro, uhique Religionis expugnator, ait, cum 
quoddammedicamentum describeret, eo uti solent HIRPINI, 
qui ambulaturi per ignem, medicamento Plantas tingunt. 
Ad ver. 787, l»b. 11. Aeneid. 

vx- x HE DRUIDS. 117 

the common people believe these Obelises to be men, 
transformed into stones by the Magic of the Druids. 
This is also the notion the vulgar have in Oxford¬ 
shire of Roll-wright stones, and in Cornwall of the 
Hurlers ; erect stones so call’d, but belonging to a 
different class from the Obelises, whereof I now dis¬ 
course. And indeed in every country the ignorant 
people ascribe to the £>evil or some supernatural power, 
at least to Giants, all works which seem to them to 
excede human art or ability. Thus among other things, 
for recording their traditions will have its pleasure as 
well as usefulness, they account for the Roman Camps 
and Military Ways, calling such the Devil's-Dylces, or 
the like : while the more reasonable part are persuad¬ 
ed, that the erect stones of which we speak, are the 
Monuments of dead persons, whose ashes or bones are 
often found near them; sometimes in Urns, and some¬ 
times in Stone-coffins, wherein scales, hammers, pieces 
cf weapons, and other things have been often found, 
some of them very finely gilt or polish’d. Dogs also 
have been found bury’d with their masters. The 
erect stones in the midst of stone-circles, whereof be¬ 
fore I have done, are not of this funeral sort; nor does 
it follow, that all those have been erected in Christian 
times, which have Christian Inscriptions or Crosses on 
them : for we read of many such Obelises thus sancti¬ 
fy U as they speak, in Wales and Scotland. And, in 
©u. Irish Histories, we find the practice as early as 



Patric himself; who, having built the Church of 
Donach-Patric on the brink of Loch-Hack et (51) in the 
county of Clare, did there on three Colosses, erec¬ 
ted in the times of Paganism, inscribe the proper 
name of Christ in three languages: namely, Jesus in 
Hebrew on the first, Soter in Greec on the second, and 
Salvator in Latin' on the third. That Obelise, if 1 
may call it so, in the Parish of Barvas, in the Hand of 
Lewis in Scotland, call’d the Thrush el-stone, is very 
remarkable; being not onely above twenty foot high, 
which is yet surpass’d by many others : but likewise 
almost as much in breadth, which no other comes 

IX. Besides these Obelises, there is a great num¬ 
ber of Forts in all the lies of Scotland, very different 
from the Danish and Norwegian Paths in Ireland, or 
the Saxon and Danish Burghs in England : nor are 
they the same with the Gallic, Brittish, and Irish Lios r 
pronounc’d Lis (52) ; which are fortifications made 
of mi wrought stones and uncemented, whereof there 
are two very extraordinary in the lies of Aran, in the 
Bay of Galway in Ireland. Dun is a general Celtic 
word for all fortifications made on an eminence, and 
the eminences themselves are so call’d ; as we see in 
many parts of England, and the Sand-hills on the Bel- 

(51) Formerly Domhnack-mor and Loch-seatga . 

(52) Lias in Irish, Les in Armoric, and L hits in Welsh, 
signifies in English a Court; as Lis-Luih, Lyn scourt . 



gic Coast. Yet Rath and Lis are often confounded 
together, both in the speech and writing of the Irish. 
But the Forts In question are all of wrought stone, and 
often of such large stones, as no number of men cou’d 
ever raise to the places they occupy, without the use of 
Engines ; which Engines are quite unknown to the 
present inhabitants, and to their ancestors for many ages 
past. There’s none of the lesser lies, but has one Fort 
at least, and they are commonly in sight of each o- 
ther : but the Dun in St. Kilda, for so they call the 
Old Fort there, is about eighteen leagues distant from 
North Uist, and twenty from the middle of Lewis or 
Harries, to be seen only in a very fair day like a blewish 
mist : but a large fire there wou’d be visible at night, 
as the ascending smoak by day. In this same He of 
Lewis, where are many such Duns, there’s north of the 
village of Brago, a round Fort composed of huge 
stones, and three stories high: that is, it has three 
hollow passages one over another, within a prodigious 
thick wall quite round the Fort, with many windows 
and stairs. I give this onely as an example from Dr. 
Martin an eye-witness, who, with several others, 
mention many more such elsewhere : yet, which is a 
great neglect, without acquainting us with their di¬ 
mensions, whether those passages in the wall be 
arch’d, or with many such things relating to the na¬ 
ture of the work ; and omitting certain other circum¬ 
stances, no less necessary to be known. I mention 
these Forts, my Lord, not as any way, that I yet 
know, appertaining to the Druids : but, in treating 



of the Monuments truely theirs, I take this natural 
occasion of communicating, what may be worthy 
of your Lordship’s curiosity and consideration ; es¬ 
pecially when, like Episodes in a Poem, they serve 
to relieve the attention, and are not very foren 
to the subject. Considering all things, I judge no 

Monuments more deserving our researches ; especi- 


ally, if any shou’d prove them to be Phenician 
or Massilian Places of security for their commerce: 
since ’tis certain that both People have traded there, 
and that Pytheas of Marseilles, as we are informed 
by Strabo, made a particular description of those 
Hands ; to which Cesar, among other Descriptions, 
without naming the authors, does doubtless (58) 
refer. But my own opinion I think fit at pre¬ 
sent to reserve. 

X. From the conjectures I have about these 
numerous and costly Forts, in Hands so remote 
and barren, I pass to the certainty I have con¬ 
whereof so many are yet intire in those Hands, 
as well as in Wales and Ireland; with some left 
in England, where culture has mostly destroy’d 
or impair’d such Monuments. These Temples are 
Circles of Obelises or erect stones, some larger, 

(53) In hoc medio cursu [inter Hibernian) scilicet & Bri- 
tanniam] est insula, quae appellatur Mona. Complures prae- 
terea minores objectae insulae existimantUT, de quibus insults 
rtonnulli scripserunt, dies continues 30 sub bruma esse noctem 
De Bello Gallico, lib. 5, 



some narrower, as in all other Edifices, some more 
and some less magnificent. They are for the great¬ 
est part perfectly circular, but some of them semicir¬ 
cular : in others the Obelises stand close together, 
but in most separate and equidistant. I am net 
ignorant that several, with Dr. Charlton in his 
Stone-henge restor'd to the Danes, believe those 
Circles to be Danish works ; a notion I shall easily 
confute in due time, and even now as I go a- 
long. But few have imagin’d ’em to be Roman, 
as the famous Architect Inigo Jones wou’d needs 
have this same Stone-henge, according to me one 
of the Druid Cathedrals, to be the Temple of Ce- 
lum or Terminus, in his Stone-henge restor'd to 
the Romans. Nevertheless, My Lord, I promise you 
no less than demonstration, that those Circles were 
Druids Temples : against which assertion their fre¬ 
quenting of Oaks, and performing no religious rites 
without Oak-branches or Leaves, will prove no valid, 
exception ; no more than such Circles being found 
jin the Gothic countries, tho’ without Altars, where- 
of we shall speak after the Temples. The out¬ 
side of the Churches in Spain and Holland is much 
ithe same, but their inside differs extremely. As 
for Inigo Jones, he cannot be too much commend- 
ed for his generous efforts, which shows an uncom- 
;mon genius, to introduce a better taste of Architec¬ 
ture into England, where ’tis still so difficult a thing 
to get rid of Gothic Oddnesses ; and therefore ’tis 
no wonder he shou’d continue famous, when so 

' > ‘ 1 Q 



few endeavour to excede him : but we must beg 
his pardon, if, as lie was unacquainted with His- 
tory, and wanted certian other qualifications, we 
take the freedom in our Book to correct his mistakes. 

XL In the Hand of Lewis beforementioifd, at 
the village of Classerniss, there is one of those 
Temples extremely remarkable. The Circle con¬ 
sists of twelve Obelises, about seven foot high 
each, and distant from each other six foot. In 
the center stands a stone thirteen foot high, in 
the perfect shape of the rudder of a Ship. Directly 
south from the Circle, there stand four Obelises run- 
ning out in a line ; as another such line due east, 
and a third to the west, the number and distances of 
the stones being in these wings the same : so that 
this Temple, the most intire that can be, is at 
the same time both round and wing’d. But to 
the north there reach, by way of avenue, two 
straight ranges of Obelises, of the same bigness 
and distances with those of the Circle; yet the 
ranges themselves are eight foot distant, and each 
consisting of nineteen stones, the thirty-ninth be¬ 
ing in the entrance of the avenue. This Tem¬ 
ple stands astronomically, denoting the twelve signs 
of the Zodiac and the four principal winds, sub¬ 
divided each into four others; by which, and the 
nineteen stones on each side the avenue betoken¬ 
ing the Cycle of nineteen years, J can prove it 
to have been dedicated principally to the Sun;. 



but subordinately to the Seasons and the Ele¬ 
ments, particularly to the Sea and the Winds, 
as appears by the rudder in the middle. The 
Sea, consider'd as a Divinity, was by the antient 
Gauls call’d Anvana or Onvana, as the raging Sea 
s still call’d Anafa in so many Letters by the Irish 
’54); and both of ’em, besides that they were very 

good Astronomers, are known to have paid honor 


lot only to the Sea, but also to the Winds and the 
Tempests, as the (55) Romans were wont to do. 
put of this in the account of their worship. I for¬ 
got to tell you, that there is another Temple about 
i quarter of a mile from the former ; and that com- 
nonly two Temples stand near each other, for rea- 
ons you will see in our History. East of Drum- 
ruy in the Scottish He of Aran, is a Circular 
Temple, whose area is about thirty paces over : 
nd south of the same Village is such another 
Temple, in the center of which still remains the 
kltar ; being a broad thin stone, supported by 
hree other such stones. This is very extraordi- 
iary, tho’, as you may see in my last Letter, not 

(54) They vulgarly call the sea mor or mult, mara, cuan , 
fairge, &c. 

j (55) Sic fatus, meritos aris mactavit honores: 

Taurum Neptuno, taurum tibi, pulcher Apollo ; 
Nigram Hyemi pecudem, Zbphyris jelicibus albam. 

v . Aen. lib. 3. 

Videatur etiam Horatius, Epod. 10. ver. nit. Cic. de nat. 
Dear, lib, 3, Mt Aris fop h, in Ranis cum suo Scholiasts. 



the onely example ; since the zeal of the Chris¬ 
tians, sometimes apt to be over-heated, us’d to 
leave no. Altars standing but their own. In the 
greatest Hand of (56) Orkney, commonly call’d the 
>. Mainland , there are likewise two Temples, where 
the natives believe by Tradition, that the Sun and 
Moon were worshipt : which belief of theirs is very 
right, since the lesser Temple is semi-circular. The 
greater is one hundred and ten paces diameter. 
They know not what to make of two green 
Mounts erected at« the east and west end of it : 
a matter nevertheless for which it is not difficult 
to account. There’s a trench or ditch round each 
of these Temples, like that about Stone-henge; 
and, in short, every such Temple had the like 
Snelosure. Many of the stones are above twenty or 
twenty-four foot in heighth, above the ground, a- 
bout five foot in breadth, and a foot or two in 
thickness. Some of ’em are fallen down : and the 
Temples are one on the east and the other on 
the west side of the Lake of Stennis, where it 
is shallow and fordable, there being a passage o- 
ver by large stepping stones. Near the lesser 
Temple, which is on the east side of the Lake, 

(55) The lies of Orkney are denominated from Orcas or 
Orca 9 which, in Diodorus Siculus and Ptolemy, is the 
antient name of Caithness; and this from Ore, not a salmon 
[as by some interpreted] but a whale : so that in old Irish 
Orc-i is the Whale Hands . The words of Diodorus are. 

To de Hypolipomenon (tes Bretanias) anekein men historousin eis to pelagon, 
ouomazesthai de Orcaii, Lib , 4. 



as the greater on the west, there stand two stones 
of the same bigness with the (57) rest ; thro’ 
the middle of one of which there is a large hole, 
by which criminals and victims were ty’d. Like¬ 
wise .in the Hand of Papa-Westra, another of the 
Orkneys, there stand, near a Lake, now call’d St. 
Tredwell’s (58) Loch, two such Obelises, in one 
of which there is the like hole ; and behind them 
lying on the ground a third stone, being hollow’ 
like a trough. 

XII. These few I only give for examples out of 
great numbers, as I likewise take the liberty to 
acquaint you. My Lord, that at a place call’d 
Bisccm-woon, near Saint Burien’s in Cornwall, there 
is a circular Temple consisting of nineteen stones, 
the distance between each twelve fodt ; and a 
twentieth in the center, much higher than the 
rest. But I am not yet informed, whether this 
middle stone has any peculiar figure, or whether 
inscrib’d with any characters ; for such characters 
are found in Scotland, and some have been ob¬ 
serv’d in Wales ; but, except the Roman and 
Christian Inscriptions, unintelligible to such as have 
hitherto seen them. Yet they ought to have been 
fairly represented, for the use of such as might have 
been able perhaps to explain them. They would 
at least exercise our Antiquaries. The Circle of 

(57) Brand, pag . 44. 

(58) Brand, png. 58. 




Rollrich-stones in Oxfordshire, and the Hurlers in 
Cornwall, are two of those Druid Temples. There 
is one at Aubury in Wiltshire, and some left in 
other places of England. In Gregory of Tours 
time there was remaining, and for ought I know 
may still be so, one of those Temples on the 
top of Helen’s Mount , between Alton and Riom 
in Auvergne. It was within this inclosure that 
Martin, the sainted Bishop, stood taking a (59) 
view of the country, as before mention’d. Now 
of such Temples I shall mention here no more, 
but procede to the Druids ALTARS, which, as 
I said before, do ordinarily consist of four stones ; 
three being hard flags, or large tho’ thin stones, 
set up edge-wise, two making the sides, and a 
shorter one the end, with a fourth stone of the 
same kind on the top : for the other end was 
commonly left open, and the Altars were all ob¬ 
long. Many of ’em are not intire. From some 
the upper stone is taken away, from others one 
of the side-stones or the end. And, besides the 
alterations that men have caus’d in all these kinds 
of Monuments, Time it self has chang’d ’em much 
more. Mr. Brand speaking of the Obelises in Ork- 
ney, many of ’em, says (60) he, appear to be much 
worn, by flic washing of the wind and rain , which 

(59) Extat nunc in hoc loco cancellus, in quo Sanctus di~ 
citur stetisse. Gregor. Turon. de Gloria Confessor, cap. 5. 

(60) Pag. 46. 



shows they are of a long standing: and it is very 
strange to think, how, in those places and times, 
they got such large stones carry'd and erected. ’Tis 
naturally impossible, but that, in the course of 
so many ages, several stones must have lost their 
figure ; their angles being exposed to all weathers, 
and no care taken to repair any disorder, nor to 
prevent any abuse of them. Thus some are be¬ 
come lower, or jagged, or otherwise irregular and 
diminished : many are quite wasted, and moss or 
scurf hides the Inscriptions or Sculptures of others • 
for such Sculptures there are in seveial places, 
particularly in Wales and the Scottish lie of A- 
ran. That one sort of stone lasts longer than another 
is true : but that all will have their period, no 
less than Parchment and Paper, is as true. 

XIII. There are a great many of the AL¬ 
TARS to be seen yet intire in Wales, particu¬ 
larly two in Kerig Y Drudion parish mentioned 
in my other Letter, and one in Lhan-Hammulch 
parish in Brecknockshire ; with abundance else¬ 
where, diligently observ’d by one I mention’d in 
my first Letter, Mr. Edward Lhuyd, who yet was 
not certain to what use they were destin’d. Here 
I beg the favor of your Lordship to take it for 
granted, that I have sufficient authorities for e- 
very thing I alledge : and tho’ I do not always 
give them in this brief Specimen, yet in the his¬ 
tory it self they shall be produc’d on every pro- 




per occasion. The Druids Altars were commonly 
in the middle of the Temples, near the great Co¬ 
lossus, of which presently ; as there is now such 
a one at Carn-Lhechart in the parish of Lhan- 
Gyvelach in Glamorganshire, besides that which I 
mentioned before in Scotland. They are by the 
Welsh in the singular number call’d Kist-vaen, 
that is a stone-chest, and in the plural Kistieu-vaen, 
stone-chests. These names, with a small variation, - 
are good Irish : but the things quite different from 
those real stone-chests or coffins, commonly of one 
block and the lid, that are in many places found 
under ground. The vulgar Irish call these Altars 
(61) Dermot and Grania’s bed. This last was the 
Daughter of King Cormac Ulfhada, and Wife 
to ( 62 ) Fin Mac Cuil ; from whom, as invincible 
a General and Champion as he's reported to have 
been, she took it in her head, as women will some¬ 
times have such fancies, to run away with a no¬ 
bleman, call’d (63) Dermont O Duvny : but be¬ 
ing pursu’d every where, the ignorant country people 
say, they were intertain’d a night in. every quar¬ 
ter-land (64i) or village of Ireland ; where the in¬ 
habitants sympathizing with their affections, and 
doing to others what they wou’d be done unto, 

(61) Leaba Dhiarmait agns Ghraine. 

(62) Finn mhac Cubhaill. 

(63) Diarmait ODuibhne. 

(64) Seisreach & Ceathraffihach. 


r mpk 

made these beds both for their resting and hid¬ 
ing place. The Poets, you may imagine, have 
not been wanting to imbellish this story : and hence 
it appears, that the Druids were planted as thick 
as Parish Priests, nay much thicker. Wherever 
there’s a Circle without an Altar, ’tis certain there 
was one formerly; as Altars are found where the Cir¬ 
cular Obelises are mostly or all taken away for 
other uses, or out of aversion to this superstition 3 
or that time has consum’d them. They, who, from 
the bones, which are often found near those Al¬ 
tars and Circles, tho’ seldom within them, will 
needs infer, that they were burying places ; for¬ 
get what Cesar, Pliny, Tacitus, and other Authors, 
write of the human sacrifices offer’d by the Druids : 
and, in mistaking the ashes found in the Cams, 
they show themselves ignorant of those several an¬ 
niversary fires and sacrifices, for which they were 
rear’d, as we have shown above. The huge cop¬ 
ing stones of these Cams were in the nature of 
Altars, and Altars of the lesser form are frequent¬ 
ly found near them ; as now in the great Latin 
and Greec Churches, there are, besides the High 
Altar, several smaller ones. 

XIV. There’s another kind of Altar much 
bigger than either of these, consisting of a great 
number of stones; some of ’em serving to sup¬ 
port the others, by reason of their enormous bulk. 
These the Britons term CROMLECH in the ain- 




gular, Cromlechu in the plural number; and the 
Irish CROMLEACH or Cromleac, in the plural 
Cromleacha or Cromleacca. By these Altars, as 
in the center of the Circular Temples, there com¬ 
monly stands, or by accident lyes, a prodigious 

stone, which was to serve as a Pedestal to some 

» \ 

Deity : for all these Cromleachs were places of 
worship, and so call’d from bowing , the word sig¬ 
nifying the (65) bowing-stone. The original desig¬ 
nation of the Idol Crum-cruach, whereof in the 
next Section, may well be from Cruim , an equi¬ 
valent word to Taii'jpeach Taran or Tarman , all 
signifying Thunder: whence the Romans call’d 
the Gallic Jupiter Taramis or Taranis, the thun- 

derer: and from these Cromleachs it is, that in 
the oldest Irish a Priest is call’d Cruimthear, and 

Priesthood Cruimtheacd, which are so many evi¬ 
dent vestiges of the Druidical (66) religion. There’s 
a Cromlech in Nevern-Parish in Pembrokeshire, 
where the middle stone is still eighteen foot high, 
and nine broad towards the base, growing nar¬ 
rower upwards. There lyes by it a piece broken 
of ten foot long, which seems more than twen¬ 
ty oxen can draw : and therefore they were not 

(65) From crom or crum, which, in Armoric, Irish, 
and Welsh, signifies bent; and Lech or Leac , a broad 

(66) Of the same nature is Cairneach, of which be¬ 
fore : for Sagart, the ordinary word for a Priest, is 
manifestly form’d from Sacerdos. 



void of all skill in the Mechanics, who could set 
up the whole. But one , remaining at Poitiers in 
France, supported by five lesser stones, excedes 
all in the British Hands, as being sixty foot in 
circumference (67). I fancy however that this was 
a Rocking-stone : There’s also a noble Cromleach 
at Bod-ouyr in Anglesey. Many of them, by a 
modest computation, are thirty tun weight : but 
they differ in bigness, as all pillars do, and their 
Altars are ever bigger than the ordinary Kistieu- 
vaen. In some places of Wales these stones are 
call’d Meineu-guyr , which is of the same import 
with Cromlechu. In Caithness, and other remote 
parts of Scotland, these Cromleacs are very num¬ 
erous, some pretty entire ; and others, not so much 
consum’d by time, or thrown down by storms, as 
disorder’d and demolished by the hands of men. 
But no such Altars were ever found by Olaus 
Wormius, the great northern Antiquary, which I 
desire the abettors of Dr. Charlton to note, nor 
by any others in the Temples of the Gothic na¬ 
tions ; as I term all who speak the sevaral dia¬ 
lects of Gothic original, from Izeland to Switzer¬ 
land, and from the Bril in Holland to Presburg 
in Hungary, the Boehemians and Polanders ex¬ 
cepted. The Druids were onely co-extended with 

(67) La pierre levee de Poitiers a soixante picds as 
tour, § elle est posse sur cinq autres pierres , sans qu’on 
sache non plus ni pourquoi, ni comment. Chevreau, 
Memoires d’ Angleterre, page 380, 



the Celtic dialects : besides that Cesar says ex- 
presly, there were (68) no Druids among the Ger¬ 
mans, with whom he says as expresly that seeing 
and feeling was believing , honoring onely the Sun, 
the Fire, and the Moon, by which they were ma¬ 
nifestly benefited, and that they made no sacri¬ 
fices at all : which of course made Altars as use¬ 
less there, tho’ afterwards grown fashionable, as 
they were necessary in the Druids Temples, and 
which they show more than probably to have been 
Temples indeed ; nor are they call’d by any o- 
ther name, or thought to have been any other 
thing, by the Highlanders or their Irish progeni¬ 
tors, In Jersey likewise, as well as in the other 
neighbouring Hands, formerly part of the Dutchy 
*of Normandy, there are many Altars and Crom¬ 
lechs. 46 There are yet remaining in this Hand,” 
(says Dr. Falle in the 115th page of his Account of 
Jersey) “ some old monuments of Paganism. We 

call them Pouqueleys . They are great flat stones, 
“ of vast bigness and weight ; some oval, some 
46 quadrangular, rais’d three or four foot from the 
“ ground, and supported by . others of a less size. 
“ 5 Tis evident both from their figure, and great 
“ quantities of ashes found in the ground there- 

(68) Germani -- neque Druides hahent, qui rebus du 

vims praesint , neque Sacrificiis student. Deorum nume « 
ro eos solos ducunt , quos cernunt, el quorum operibus 
aperte juvantur; Salem, et Vulcanum , et Lunam: reli* 
quos ne fama quidem acceperunt . Ue Bello Galileo, 
lib.. 0, 



£ * abouts, that they were us’d for Altars in those 
" times of superstition : and their standing on emi- 
66 nenees near the sea, inclines me also to think, 
“ that they were dedicated to the Divinities of 
“ the Ocean. At ten or twelve foot distance there 
“ is a small stone set up an end, in manner of 

a desk ; where ’tis suppos’d the Priest kneel’d, 
“ and perform’d some ceremonies, while the Sa- 
^ crifice was burning on the Altar.” Part of this 
account is mistaken, for the culture of the inland 
parts is the reason that few Pouqueleys are left, 
besides those on the barran rocks and hills on the 

sea side : nor is that situation alone sufficient for 


entitling them to the Marine Powers, there be¬ 
ing proper marks to distinguish such wheresoever 

XV. But to return to our Cromleachs, the chief- 
est in all Ireland was CRUM-CRUACPI, which 
stood in the midst of a Circle of twelve Obe¬ 
lises on a hill in Brefin, a district of the coun¬ 
ty of Cavan, formerly belonging to Letrim. It 
was all over covered with gold and silver, the 
lesser figures on the twelve stones about it be¬ 
ing onely of brass ; which mettals, both of the 
stones and the statues that they bore, became every 
where the prey of the Christian Priests, upon the 
conversion of that kingdom. The legendary writers 
of Patric’s Life, tell many things no less ridi¬ 
culous than incredible, about the destruction of 



this Temple of Moyslect (69), or the Field of 


Adoration , in Brefin ; where the stumps of the 
circular Oblises are yet to be seen, and where 
they were noted by writers to have stood long before 
any Danish invasion, which shows how groundless 
Dr. Charlton’s notion is. The Bishop’s See of 
Clogher had its name from one of those stones, 
all cover’d with gold ( Clochoir signifying the gol¬ 
den stone) on which stood Kermand Kelstach, 
the chief Idol of Ulster (70). This stone is still 
in being. To note it here by the way. Sir James 
Ware was mistaken, when, in his Antiquities of 
Ireland, he said Arcklow and Wicklow were foren 
names : whereas they are mere Irish, the first be- 
in Ardeloch, and the second Buidhe-cloch, from high 
and yellow stones of this consecrated kind. ’Tis 
not to vindicate either the Celtic nations in gene¬ 
ral, or my own country-men in particular, for 
honoring of such stones, or for having stony sym¬ 
bols of the Deity ; but to show they were neither 
more ignorant nor barbarous in this respect than 
the politest of nations, the Greecs and the Rom¬ 
ans, that here I must make a short literary ex¬ 
cursion. Wherefore, I beg your Lordship to re¬ 
member, that Kermand Kelstach was not the one- 
ly Mercury of rude stone, since the Mercury 

of the Greecs was not portray’d antiently in the 


(69) Magh-sleucht. 

(70) Mercurius Celtxcus, 



shape of a youth, with wings to his heels and 
a caduceus in his hand; but (71), without hands 
or feet , being a square stone , says Phurnutus, and 
I say without any sculpture. The reason given 
for it by the Divines of those days, was, that as 

the square figure betoken'd his solidity and stdbili- 


ty ; so he wanted neither hands nor feet to exe¬ 
cute what \e was commanded by Jove. Thus their 
merry-making Bacchus ivas figured among the The¬ 
bans by a (72) pillar onely. So the Arabians 
worship I know not what God , says (73) Maxi¬ 
mus Tyrius, and fie statue that I saw of him , 
was a square stone. I shall say nothing here of 
the oath of the Romans per Jovem Lapidem. But 
no body pretends that the Gauls were more subtil 
Theologues or Philosophers, than the Arabians, Greecs, 
or Romans; at least many are apt not to believe 


it of their Irish Ofspring: yet ’tis certain, that all 
those nations meant by these stones without statues, 
the (74) eternal stability and power of the Deity ; 
and that he cou’d not be represented by any simi¬ 
litude, nor under any figure whatsoever. For the 

(71) Flattetai de ‘kai acheir, kai apous, kai tetragoaos to schemata, d ? Her- 
mss : tetragwios men, to edraion te kai asphales echein——Acheir de kai Apous, 
epei oote pod5n oute cheirdn deitai, pros to anuein to prokeiraenon auto, De 
Nat . Deor, cap, 16. 

(72) Stulos Thebaioisi Diomissos polugethes. Clem . Alex. Stfomat. lib. 1. 

(73) Arabic! sebousi men hontina d’ ouk oida : to de agalma ho eidoc li- 
thos en tetragonos. Serrn. 38. 

(74) To aneikuniston ton theou kai raonimon. Id, Ibid . 



numberless figures, which, notwithstanding this doc¬ 
trine, they had, some of ’em very ingenious, and 
some very fantastical, were onely emblematical or 
enigmatical symbols of the divine attributes and 
operations, but not of the Divine Essence. Now as 
such symbols in different places were different, so 
they were often confounded together, and mistaken 
for each other. Nor do I doubt, but in this manner 
the numerous Cams in Gaule and Britain induc’d 
the Romans to believe, that Mercury was their 
(75) chief God, because among themselves he had 
such heaps, as I show’d above ; whereas the Celtic 
heaps were all dedicated to Belenus, or the Sun. 
The Roman Historians in particular are often mis¬ 
led by likenesses, as has been already, and will not 
seldom again, be shown in our History ; especially 
with regard to the Gods, said to have been been 
worship’d by the Gauls. Thus some modern Critics 
have forg’d new Gods, out of the sepulchral inscrip¬ 
tions of Gallic Heroes- I shall say no more of such 
pillars, but that many of them have a cavity on the 
top, capable to bold a pint, and somtimes more; 
with a channel or groove, about an inch deep, reach- 
inf from this hollow place to the ground, of the 
use whereof in due time. 

XVI Nor will I dwell longer here, than our 
subject requires, on the FATAL STONE so call’d, 

(15) Timm maxime col uni. Eujus surd 
pluri/na simulacra, <5fc. Cites, tie belio Gallico, lib. (J, 



on which the supreme Kings of Ireland us’d to 
be inaugurated in times of Heathenism on the 
hill of (76) Tarah (77): and which being inclos- 

{76} Teamhuir, or in the oblique cases Teamhra 9 
whence corruptly Taragh, or Tarah, 

(77) The true names of this stone are Liag-fail or 
the fatal stone , and Clock na cineamhna or the stone of 
fortune: both of them from a persuasion the antient 
Irish had 5 that, in what country soever this stone re¬ 
main'd, there one of their blood was to reign. But 
this prov’d as false as such other prophesies for 300 
years, from Edward the first to the reign of James 
the first in 'England. The Dpuidieal Oracle is in verse, 
an j in these original words: 

Cioniodh scuit saor an fine 9 
Man ha breag an Faisdine $ 

Mar a bhfuighid an hia-faif 
Dlighid Jlaitheas do ghabhaih 

Which may be read thus truely, but monkishly Iran® 
slated, in Hectoh Boethius: 

Ni fallal fatum , Scoti 9 quocunque locatum 
' Tnvenient lapidem hunc 9 regnare tenentur ibidem » 

The Lowland Scots have rhym'd it thus: 

Except old Saws do feign , 

And wizards wits be blind , 

The Scots in place must reign , 

Where they this stone shall find, 

And some English Poet has thus render’d it; 

Consider Scot, where'er you find this stone , 

If fates fail not, there fixt must be your throne » 

The Irish pretend to have memoirs concerning it for 
above 2000 years ; nay Ireland it seif is sometimes, 1 




ed in a wooden. Chair, was thought to emit a 
sound under the rightful Candidate, a thing easi¬ 
ly manag’d by the Druids, but to be mute un¬ 
der a man of none or a bad title, that is, one 

. % 

who was not for the turn of those Priests. E- 
very one has read of Memnon’s vocal statue in 
Egypt. This fatal stone was superstitiously sent 
to confirm the Irish Colony in the north of Great 
Britain, where it continued as the Coronation- 
seat of the Scottish Kings, even since Christiani¬ 
ty ; till, in the year one thousand three-hundred, 

from this stone, by the poets call’d Inis-fail. But how 
soon they begun to use it, or whence they had it, 
lyes altogether in the dark. What’s certain is, that 
after having long continu’d at Tarah, it was, for the 
purpose I have mentioned, sent to Fergus, the first 
actual King of Scots ; and that it lay in Argile (the 
original seat of the Scots in Britain) till, about the 
year of Christ 842, that Keneth the 2d, the son of 
Alpim, having iniarg’d his borders by the conquest 
of the Piets, transferr’d this stone, for the same pur¬ 
pose as before, to Scone. So great respect is still paid 
by Christians to a Heathen Prophesy! not onely false 
in fact, as I have this moment prov’d; but evidently 
illusory and equivocal, it being a thing most difficult 
to find any prince in Europe, who, some way or other, 
may not claim kindred of every other princely race 
about him, and consequently be of that blood. This 
is the case of our present Soverain .King George, who 
is indeed descended of the Scottish race, but yet in pro¬ 
priety of speech is not of the Scottish line; but the 
first here of the Brunswick line, as others begun the 
Brittish, Saxon, Danish, Sax.o-Danish, Norman, Saxo- 
Norman, and Scottish lines. Yet this not being the 
sense in which the Irish and Scots understand the Oracle, 
they ought consequently at fcais very time to look upon 
it as false, and groundless. 



Edward the first of England brought it from 
Scone, placing it under the Coronation-chair at 
Westminster : and there it still continues, the an- 
tientest respected monument in the' world; for 

tho’. some others may be more antient as to du- 


ration, yet thus superstitiously regarded they are 
not. I had almost forgot to tell you, that ’tis 
now by the vulgar call’d Jacob-Stone, as if this 
had been Jacob’s pillow at Bethel (78). Neither 
shall I be more copious in treating of another kind 
of stones, tho’ belonging also to our subject. They 
are roundish and of vast bulk but so artificial¬ 
ly pitch’d on flat stones, sometimes more, some¬ 
times fewer in number: that touching the great 
stone lightly, it moves, and seems to totter, to 
the great amazement of the ignorant; but stirs 


not, at least not sensibly, for that is the case, 
when one uses his whole strength. Of this sort 
is Maen-amber in Cornwall, and another in the 
Peak of Derby, whereof Dr. Woodward has given 
me an account from his own observation. Some 
there are in Wales, one that I have seen in the 
Parish of Clunmany (79) in the north of Ireland, 
and the famous rocking stones in Scotland ; of all 
which, and many more, in our History. Yet I 
cou’d not excuse it to my self, if I did not with 

(78) Gen. xxviii. 11, 18, 19, 


(79) Cluainmaine * 


140 , THE HISTORY • 

the soonest, let your Lordship into the secret of 
this reputed Magic ; which the no less learned 
Antiquary than able Physician, Sir Robert Sib- 
bald, has discover’d in the Appendix to his His¬ 
tory of Fife and Kinross. That Gentleman speak¬ 
ing of the Rocking-stone near Balvaird, or the 
Rards-town, “ I am informed, (says he), that this 
e * stone was broken by the Usurper Cromwell’s 
(i Soldiers ; and it was discover’d then, that its 
motion was performed by a yolk extuberant in 
* s the middle of the under-surface of the upper stone, 
es which was inserted in a cavity in the surface of 
“ the lower stone.” To which let me add, that as 
the lower stone was flat, so the upper stone was 
globular : and that not onely a just proportion in the 
motion, was calculated from the weight of the stone, 
and the wideness of the cavity, as well as the oval 
figure of the inserted prominence; but that the vast 
bulk of the upper stone did absolutely conceal the 
mechanism of the motion ; and the better still to im¬ 
pose, there were two or three surrounding flat stones, 
tho’ that onely in the middle was concern’d in tho 
feat. By this pretended miracle they condemn’d of 
perjury, or acquitted, as their interest or their af¬ 
fection led them; and often brought criminals to con¬ 
fess, what could be no other way extorted from them. 
So prevalent is the horror of Superstition in some 
cases, which led many people to fancy, and among 
them the otherwise most judicious Strabo, that it 
might be a useful cheat to society: not considering 




that in other cases, incomparably more numerous 
and important, it is most detrimental, pernicious, 
and destructive, being solely useful to the Priests 
that have the management of it; while it not 
onely disturbs or distresses society, but very of¬ 
ten confounds and finally overturns it, of which 
History abounds with examples. 

XVII. I come now to the DRUIDS HOUSES, 
by which I don’t mean their Forts or Towns, of 
of which they had many, but not as Church- 
lands ; nor yet the Houses for their Schools, situ¬ 
ated in the midst of pleasant groves : but I mean 
little, arch’d, round, stone buildings, capable only 
of holding one person, where the retir’d and con¬ 
templative Druid sat, when his Oak could not 
shelter him from the weather. There’s another 
sort of Druid’s houses much larger. Of both these 
sorts remain several yet intire in the lie of Sky, 
and also in some other lies ; being by the Na¬ 
tives (80) call’d Tighthe nan Druidhneach, that is, 
Druids Houses. Many of them are to be seen in 
Wales, and some in Ireland : but different from 
those under-ground houses, or artificial Caves, which 
are in all those places; consisting frequently of 
several chambers, and generally opening towards 
rivers or the sea : - having been, as fhose of the 

(80) Corruptly Tinan Druirdch, 


142 ' , THE HISTORY 

Germans describ’d by (81) Tacitus, magazines a- 
gainst the extreme rigor of winter, or hiding places 
for men and goods in time of war. The vulgar 
in the Hands do still show a great respect for the 
Druid's Houses, and never come to the antient 
sacrificing and fire-hallowing Cams, but they walk 
three times round them from east to west, ac¬ 
cording to the course of the Sun. This sanctifi¬ 
ed tour or round by the south, is call’d (82) 
Deiseal ; as the unhallow’d contrary one by the 
north, (83) Tuapholl. But the Irish and Albani¬ 
an Scots do not derive the first, as a certain 
friend of mine imagined, from Di-sul, which sig¬ 
nifies Sunday in Armorican British, as Dydh-syl 
in the Welsh and De-zil in Cornish do the same ; 
but from (84) Deas, the right, understanding, hand 
and Soil, one of the antient names of the Sun, 
the right hand in this round being ever next the 
heap. The Protestants in the Hebrides are al¬ 
most as much addicted to the Deisiol, as the Pa¬ 
pists. Hereby it may be seen, how hard it is 
to eradicate inveterate Superstition. This custom 

(81) Solent et subterraneos specus aperire, eosque multo 
insuper fimo onerant: suffugium hiemi, ac receptaculum fru- 
gibus; quia rigorem frigorum ejusmodi locis molliunt. Et 
si quando hostis advenit, aperta populatur: abdita autem et 
defossa aut ignorantur, aut eo ipso fallunt, quod quaerenda 
sunt. De moribus German, cap. 3, 

(82) Dextrorsum. 

(83) Sinistrorsum. 

(84) Item Deis. 



was us’d three thousand years ago, and God 
knows how long before, by their ancestors the an- 
tient Gauls of the same religion with them ; who 
turn'd round right-hand-wise, when they worship'd 
their Gods , as (85) Atheneus informs us out of 
Posidonius a much elder writer. Nor is this con¬ 
tradicted, but clearly confirm’d by Pliny, who 
says, that the Gauls, contrary to the custom of the 
(86) Romans, turn'd to the left in their religious 
ceremonies ; for as they begun their worship to¬ 
wards the east, so they turn’d about, as our II- 
anders do now, from east to west according to 
the course of the Sun, that is, from right to left, 
as Pliny has observ’d ; whereas the left was a- 
mong the Romans reputed the right in Augury, 
and in all devotions answering it. Nor were their 
neighbors, the Aboriginal Italians, most of ’em of 
Gallic descent, strangers to this custom of worship¬ 
ping right-hand-wise, which, not to allege more Pas¬ 
sages, may be seen by this one in the (87) Curculio of 
Plautus, who was himself one of them: when you 
worship the Gods, do it turning to the right hand; 
which answers to turning from the west to the cast. 
It is perhaps from this respectful turning from east to 

(85) Houtoi thediis proslmnousm, epi la dexia Strephomenoi. Lib, 4. Pag. 152. 

(86) In adorando dexteram ad osculum referimus , to- 
tumque corpus circumagimus; quod in laevum fecisse Galli 
religiosius credunt • "Hist* Nat* lib, 28. cap. 2. 


{87} Si Dcqs salutas, dextrovorsum censeo . Act. L 
Seen, 1* yen 70, 



west, that we retain the custom of drinking over the 
left thumb, or, as others express it, according to the 
course of the Sun; the breaking of which order, is 
reckon’d no small impropriety, if not a downright in¬ 
decency, in Great Britain and Ireland. And no won¬ 
der, since this, if you have faith in Homer, was the 
custom of the Gods themselves. Vulcan, in the first 


book of the (88) Iliad, filling a bumper to his mother 

To th' other Gods, going round, from right to left, 
Skenk'd Nectar sweet , which from full flask he pour'd. 

But more of the right hand in the chapter of Augury . 

XVIII. To resume our discourse about the Druids 
houses, one of them in the Hand of St. Hilda is 
very remarkable; and, according to the tradition 
of the place, must have belong’d to a Druidess. But 
be this as it will, it is all of stone, without lime, or 
mortar, or earth to cement it: ’tis also arch’d, and of 
a conic figure ; but open at the top, and a fire-place 
in the middle of the floor. It cannot contain above , 
nine persons, to sit easy by each other: and from 
this whole description ’tis clear, that the edifice call 
Arthur’s Oven in Sterlingshire, just of the same 
form and dimensions, is by no means of Roman ori¬ 
ginal, whatever our antiquaries have thoughtiesly 
fancy’d to the contrary. Some make it the Temple 

(88) Autar ho tois alloisi theois endexia pasin onoclicei, gluku nektar apo 

kreteros aphusson. II. 1. Ycr . 397, 

i ’ ■ .tli 



of Terminus, and others a triumphal arch, when 
they might as well have fancy’d it to be a hogtro-ugh 
so little is it like any of those arches, As to the 
house in St. Kilda, there go off from the side of the 
wall three low vaults, separated from each other by 
pillars, and capable of containing five persons a 
piece. Just such another house in all respects, but 
much larger, and grown over with a green sod on 
U S , 0 a, an He adjacent to St. Kil¬ 

da; and was the habitation of a Druid, who ’tis pro¬ 
bable was not unacquainted with his neighbouring 
Druidess. Shetland abounds with another kind of 
stone houses, not unfrequent in Orkney, which they 
ascribe to the Piets ; as they are apt all over Scotland 
to make every thing Pictish, whose origin they do 
not know. The Belgae or Fir-bolgs share this honor 
with the Piets in Ireland, and King Arthur is re¬ 
puted the author of all such fabrics in Wales, except 
that those of Anglesey father ’em on the Irish. These 
instances I have given your Lordship, to convince 
you, how imperfect all Treatises about the Druids 
(hitherto publish’d) must needs be; since they con¬ 
tain nothing of this kind, tho’ ever so essential to 
the subject: and that none of these Monuments, very 
frequent in France, are there ascrib’d to the Druids, 
their records about such things being all lost; while 
very many of ours happily remain to clear them, since 
the usages were the same in both countries. Nor 
are those Treatises less defective in the more instruc¬ 
tive part, concerning the Druidical Philosophy and 

Aviv M T 



Politics, whereof the modern French and Brittish 
writers, have in reality known nothing further, than 
the Classic authors furnish’d ’em ; or if they add any 
thing, ’tis absolutely fabulous, ill-invented, and unau¬ 
thoriz’d. These subjects I reserve intire for my 
greater work. John Aubrey Esq; a Member of the 
Royal Society, with whom I became acquainted at 
Oxford, when I was a sojourner there; and collecting 
during my idler hours a Vocobulary of Armorican 
and Irish words, which, in sound and signification, 

agree better together than with the Welsh, was the 
only person I ever then met, who had a right notion 
of the Temples of the Druids, or indeed any notion 
that the Circles so often mention’d were such Temples 
at all: wherein he was intirely confirm’d, by the au¬ 
thorities which I show’d him ; as he supply’d me in 
return with numerous instances of such Monuments, 
which he was at' great pains to observe and set down. 
And tho’ he was extremely superstitious, or seem’d 
to be so: yet he was a very honest man, and most 
accurate in his accounts of matters of fact. But the 
facts he knew, not the reflections he made, were what 

I wanted. Nor will I deny justice on this occasion, 
to a person whom 1 cited before, and who in many 
other respects merits all the regard which the curious 
can pay; I mean Sir Robert Sibbald, who, in his 
foresaid History of Fife, but very lately come to my 
hands, affirms, that there are several Druids Temples 
to be seen every where in Scotland, particulary in the 



County he describes. These (says he) are great stones 
plac'd in a circle, at some distance from each other , &c* 

Mr. Aubrey showed me several of Dr. Garden’s let- 

< » 

ters from that kingdom to the same purpose, but in 
whose hands now I know not. 

XIX. I shall conclude this Letter with two ex¬ 
amples of such works, as tho’ not, that I can hitherto 


learn, belonging any way to the Druids, yet they may 
possibly be of that kind : or be they of what kind you 

will, they certainly merit our notice; as, together 


with those for which we can truely account, they 
highly serve to illustrate the Antiquities of our Brit- 
tish world. My first example is in the Main-land of 
Orkney, describ’d among the rest of those Islands by 
Dr. Wallace and Mr* Brand ; where, on the top of 
a high rocky hill at the west end of the Hand near the 
Tillage of Skeal, there is a sort of pavement, consist¬ 
ing of stones variously figur’d, some like a heart, o- 
thers like a crown, others like a leg, some like a 
weaver’s shuttle, others of other forms: and so on for 
above a quarter of a mile in length, and from twenty to 
thirty fot)t in breadth. In taking up any of these 
stones, the figure is as neat. on the underside as the 
upper: and being as big as the life, all of one color, 
or a reddish kind of stone pitch’d in a reddish earth, 
and the pavement being so very long ; it cannot pos¬ 
sibly be any of the tessellated, or chequer’d works of 
the Romans* I saw a part of the garden 'wall of 
“ the house of Skeal, says (89) Mr Brand, decorat * 

(89) Fag. 48, 

“ eel with these stones: and we intended to have 
“ sent a parcel of them to our friends in the souths 
“ as a rarity ; if they had not been forgot, at our re- 
turn from Zet-land.” Dr. Wallace (90) also 
says, that many of the stones are taken away by the 
neighboring gentry, to set them up like Dutch tiles in 
their chimneys: so that, at this rate, in less than a 
century this pavement will in all likelihood subsist 
only in books* All such Monuments, when 1 go to 
Scotland, I shall so accurately describe in every re- 
spectv und give such accounts of them where account- 
able; that I hope the curious will have reason to be 
satisfy’d, or at least some abler person be emulous of 
satisfying the world, and me among the rest. Where- 
ever 1 ,am at a loss, I shall frankly own it; and never 
give my .conjectures for more than what they are, 
that is, probable guesses : and certainly nothing' can 
be more amiss in Inquiries of this kind, than to ob¬ 
trude suppositions for matters of fact. Upon all such 

occasions, I desire the same liberty with Crassus in 


Cicero de (91 ) Oratore : that I may deny being able 
to do, ivhat Tme sure I cannot; and to confess that 1 
am ignorant, of what I do not know. This I shall not 
onely be ever ready to do my self, but to account it in 
others a learned ignorance, 

XX. But, My Lord, before I take my intended 
journey, I desire the favour of having your thoughts 

,(90) Pag. 55. 

(91) Mihi liceat riegare posse, quod non potero ; et futeri 
nescire, quod nesciam. lib. 2. 



upon my next example, I speak of a couple of in¬ 
stances, really parallel; brought here together from 
parts of the world no less distant in their situation 
and climates, than different in their condition and 
manners, Egypt, I mean, and the lies of Scotland, 
Yet this they have in common, that Egypt, once the 
mother of all arts and sciences, is now as ignorant of 
her own monuments, and as fabulous in the accounts 
of them, as any Highlanders can be about theirs. 
Such changes however are as nothing in the number¬ 
less revolutions of ages. But to our subject. Hero¬ 
dotus says, in the second Book of his History, that 
near to the entry of the magnificent Temple of Mi¬ 
nerva at Sais in Egypt, of which he speaks with ad¬ 
miration, he saw an edifice twenty-one cubits in 
length, fourteen in breadth, and eight in heigih, the 


whole consisting onely of one stone ; and that it was 
brought thither by sea, from a place about twenty 
days sailing from Sais. This is my first instance. 
And, parallel to it, all those who have been in Hoy, 
one of the Orkneys, do affirm, without citing, or many 
of them knowing this passage of Herodotus, that 
there lies on a barren heath in this Hand an oblong 
stone, in a valley between two moderate hills; call’d 
I suppose antiphrastically, or by way of contraries, the 
DWARFY-STONE, It is thirty-six foot long, eigh~ ' 
teen foot broad, and nine foot high. No other stones 
are near it. Tis all hollow’d within, or, as we may 
say, scoop’d by human art and industry, having a door 
on the east side two foot square ; with a stone of the 



same dimension lying about two foot from it, which 
Was intended no doubt to close this entrance. With¬ 
in there is, at the south end of it, cut out the form pf 
a bed and pillow, capable to hold two persons: as, afe 
the north end, there is another bed, Dr. Wallace says, 
a couch, both very neatly done. Above, at an equal 
distance from both, is a large round hole: which is 
suppos’d, not onely to have been design’d for letting in 
of light and air, when the door was shut; but like¬ 
wise for letting out of smoke from the fire, for which 
there is a place made in the middle between the two 
beds. The marks of the workman’s tool appear every 
where; and the tradition of the vulgar is, that a Giant 
and his wife had this stone for their habitation: tho’ 
the door alone destroys this fancy, which is wholly 
groundless every way besides. Dr.' Wallace thinks 
it might be the residence of a Hermit, but it appears 
this Hermit did not design to ly always by himself. 
Just by it is a clear and pleasant spring, for the use of 
the inhabitant. I wish it were in Surrey, that I might 
make it a summer study. As to the original design 
of this monument, men are by nature curious enough 
to know the causes of things, but they are not patient 
enough in their search: and so will rather assign any 
cause, tho’ ever so absurd; than suspend their judge¬ 
ments, till they discover the true cause, which yet in 
this particular I am resolv’d to do. 


XXL Now, my Lord, imagine what you please 

I >. ' ' ' - ' ' * • 

about the religious or civil use of this stone, my 



difficulty to your Lordship is ; how they were a- 
ble to accomplish this piece of Architecture, a- 
mong the rest that I have mentioned, in those 
remote, barren, and uncultivated Hands ? And how 
such prodigious Obelises cou’d be erected there, 
no less than in other parts of Britain, and in 
Ireland ? for which we have scarce any sufficiant 
machines, in this time of Learning and Politeness. 
These Monuments of every kind, especially the 
Forts and the Obelises, induc’d Hector Boethius 
to tell strange stories of the Egyptians having 
been there in the reign of Mainus King of Scot¬ 
land : nor do they a little confirm the notion, 
which some both of the Irish and Albanian Scots 
have about their Egyptian, instead of Scythian, 
or as I shall evince, a Celtic original; tho’ I 
assign more immediately a British for the Irish, 
and an Irish extraction for the Scots. Nor is 
there any thing more ridiculous than what they 
relate of their Egyptian stock ; except v/hat the 
Britons fable about their Trojan ancestors. Yet 
a reason there is, why they harp so much upon 
Egyptians and Spaniards : but altogether misunder¬ 
stood or unobserved by writers. But, not to for¬ 
get our Monuments, you will not say, what, tho’ 
possible, appears improbable, that, according to the 
ceasless vicissitude of things, there was a time, 
when the inhabitants of these Hands were as 
learned and knowing, as the present Egyptians 
and the Highlands are ignorant. But say what 


you will, it cannot fail diffusing light on the 
subject; and to improve, if not intirely to satis¬ 
fy, the Inquirer. The ILE OF MAN, as I said 
above, does no less abound in these Monuments 
of all sorts, than any of the places we have nam¬ 
ed ; and therefore suie to be visited, and all its 
ancient remains to be examin’d, by, 


My Lord, 

Your Lordship’s most oblig’d, 


July- 1. \ 
1718, ) 

And very humble Servant, 





Viscount Molesworlh . 

-—**■©€> <®)#« 


TARE the Liberty, My Lord, to troble you a 
third time with the company of the DRUIDS ; 
who, like other Priests, resort always to the place 
where the best intertaiiimeiit is to be found : and 
yet I must needs own, it derogates much from 
the merit of their visit; that, in the quality of 
Philosophers they know not where to find a hear¬ 
tier welcom than in your Lordship’s study. Tho’ 
I have very particularly explain’d the plan, of my 
History of the Druids, in the two last Letters I 
did my self the honor to send you on this subject; 
yet the work being considerably layge, and con-, 
taining great variety of matter, have still somthing 
to impart, in order to give the clearer idea of my 
design. And it is, that, besides the citations of 
authors, indispensably requisite in proving matters 
of fact newly advanc’d, or in deciding of antient 
doubts and controversies, not to speak of such as 
come in by way of ornament, or that a writer 
modestly prefers to his own expressions, I have 




sometimes occasion to touch upon passages, which, 
tho’ I coud easily abridge, or needed but barely 
hint with relation to the purpose for which I pro¬ 
duce them: yet being in themselves either very 
curious and instructive, or lying in books that come 
into few people’s hands, I chuse to give them in 
my History intire. This method I have learnt * 
from my best masters among the antients, who 
practis'd it with much success; tho’, like them, I 
- use it very sparingly. One or two instances you’ll 
not be sorry to see. The explication I have given, 
in the 11th section of my first Letter, of OGMIUS, 
the antient Gallic name of Hercules, I am no 
less certain you do not forget, than that you re¬ 
member I promis’d to take an opportunity of send¬ 
ing you the whole piece; which I have thus tran¬ 
slated from the, original Greec, with the utmost 
accuracy. “ The Gauls, says (1) Lucian, call 
“ Hercules in their country language OGMIUS. 
t: But they represent the picture of this God in 
“ a very unusual manner. With them he is a 
“ decrepit old man, bald before, his beard extreme- 
« ly gray, as are the few other hairs he has 
“ remaining. His skin is wrinkl’d, sunburnt, and 
“ of such a swarthy hue as that of old mariners: 

“ so that you wou’d take him to be Charon, or 

« some Iapetus from the nethermost hell, or any 

* ** 

(1) Ton Heraklea hoi Koltoi Ogmion on ora arsons! phone te epiehorio* 

et quae scquuntur in Hercule Gallico : Graeca etenim 
longiora sunt , quam t ut hie commode inseri possint 


OF THE DRUIDS. ' > 155 

•— ~ 1 " " “ ’ ‘ ' “ “ ‘ 

“ thing rather than Hercules. But tho’ lie be 
“ such thus far, yet he has witliall the Habit of 
Hercules ; being clad in the ' skin of a Llort, 

“ holding a Club in his right hand, a Quiver 
■“ hanging from his shoulders, and a bent Bow in 
“ his left hand. Upon the whole it is Hercules. 

I was of opinion that all these things were perver- . 
“ sely done, in dishonor of the Grecian Gods, by 
“ the Gauls to the picture of Hercules : re-, 
** venging themselves upon him by such a repre- 
sentation, for having formerly over-run their count- 
“ ry, and driving a Prey out of it; as lie was 
“ seeking after the herd of Geryon, at which 
“ time lie made incursions into most of the wes- 

“ tern nations. But I have not yet told, what 


“ is most odd and strange in this picture ; for 
“ this old Hercules draws after him a vast mul- 
« titude of men, all ty’d by their Ears. The 
« cords by which he does this are small fine Chains, 
artificially made of gold and electrum, like to 
« most beautiful bracelets. And tho’ the men are 
“ drawn by such slender bonds, yet none of ’em 
« thinks of breaking loose, when they might easily 
<s do it ; neither do they strive in the least to 
« the contrary, or struggle with their feet, lean- 
«* ing back with all their might against their 
“ Leader: but they gladly and cheerfully follow, 
“ praising him that draws them; all seeming in 
« haste, and desirous' to get before each other, 
“ holding up the Chains, as if they should he 




“ very sorry to be set free. Nor will I grudge 
“ telling here, what of all these matters appear- 
w ed the most absurd to me. The Painter find- 
“ ing no place where to fix the extreme links 
of the Chains, the right hand being occupy’d 
■' with a Club, and the left with a Bow, lie 

“ made a hole in the tip of the God’s tongue, 
who turns smiling towards those he leads, and 
“ and panited them as drawn from thence. I 
“ look’d upon these things a great while, some- 
“ times admiring, sometimes doubting, and some- 
“ times chafing with indignation. But a certain 

w Gaul who stood by, not ignorant of our affairs, 
“ as he show’d by speaking Greec in perfection, 
“ being one of the Philosopers, I suppose, of that 
“ nation, said, ' I’ll explain to you, O stranger, 
“ the enigma of this picture, for it seems not 
“ a little to disturb you. We Gauls do not sup- 
“ pose, as you Greecs, that Mercury is SPEECH 
“ or Eloquence; but we attribute'it to Hercules, 
“ because he’s far superior in strength to Mecury. 
“ Don’t wonder, that he’s represented as an old 

“ man : for SPEECH alone loves to show its ut- 

“ * most vigor in old age, if your own Poets speak 
“ true. 


All young metis breasts are with thick darkness fill'd: 
But age experienc'd has much ?nore to say , 

More wise and learned , than rude untaught youth . 

Thus, among your selves; bony drops from Nes- 



“ tor’s tongue; and the Trojan Orators emit a 
“ certain voice call’d Lirioessa, that is, a florid 
“ speech; for, if I remember right, flowers are 
>f call’d Liria. Now that Hercules, or SPEECH, 
“ shou’d draw men after him ty’d by their Ears 
“ to his Tongue, will be no cause of admiration 
“ to you; when you consider the near affinity of 
“ the Tongue with the Ears. Nor is his Tongue 
“ contumeliously bor’d: for I remember, said he, 
<! to have' learnt certain lambics out of your own 
“• Comedians, one of which says. 

The tips of all Prater s tongues are bor'd. 

«*' And finally, as for us, we are of opinion, that 

<( Hercules accomplish’d all his atchievments by 

“ SPEECH; and, that having been a wise man, 


“ he conquer’d mostly by persuasion : we think 
“ his arrows were keen Reasons, easily shot, quick, 
« and penetrating the souls of men; whence you 
“ have, among you, the expression of wing’d words. 
« Hitherto spoke the Gaul.” From this ingeni¬ 
ous picture Lucian draws to himself an argument 
of Consolation : that the study and profession of 
Eloquence was not unbecoming him in his old 
age, being rather more fit than ever to teach the 
Belles Letters ; when his stock of knowlege was 
most complete, as his Speech was more copious, 
polish’d, and mature, than formerly. 

II. As rny first instance is furnish’d by a map, 

153 ' the history 

who, for his Eloquence and love of Liberty, qualities 
no less conspicuous in your Lordship, deserv'd to 
have his memory consecrated to Immortality, which 
was all that the wisest of the antients understood 
by making any one a God; so my second instance 
shall be taken from a woman, whose frailty and 
perfidiousness will serve as a foil to those learned 
Druidesses, and other illustrious Heroines, which. 
I frequently mention in my History . I introduce 
her in a passage 1 have occasion to allege, when 
I am proving, that wherever the Gauls or Britons 
are in any old author simply said to offer sacri¬ 
fice, without any further circumstances added, this 
nevertheless is understood to be done by the mi- 


nistry of the Druids; it having been as unlawful 
for any of the Celtic nations to sacrifice other¬ 
wise, as it was for the Jews to do so without 
their Priests and Levites. The Druids, says (2) 
Julius Caesar, perform, divine service, they offer 
the public, and private ■ sacrifices , they interpret re¬ 
ligious observances : and even when particular per¬ 
sons wou’d propitiate the Gods, for the continu¬ 
ing or restoring of their Health; they make use 
of the Druids, adds he (3), to offer those sacrifices. 

* I 


( 2 ) II l i rebus din inis inter sunt, sacrificia publica ac pri~ 
vata procurant , religiones interpreiantur . De Bello Galileo* 
lib. 6. cap, 12. 

(3) Administrisque ad ea sacrificia Druidibus * uiuntur . 



! '‘ ^ aB * ! * i,iM * Mai,nai * tigi * i!a ^ ~* i ‘' : ?* >ia!aaiaal ^^ ; :'T' ■■■- .-■»>■' .-■> 

’Tis the establish'd custom of the Gauls, says (4) 
Diodorus Siculus, to offer no sacrifice without a 
Philosopher, which is to say, a Druid: and Strabo 
so expresses it, affirming, that (5) they never sacri¬ 
fice without the Druids. This unanswerable proof 
being premis’d, now follows one of the passages, 
wherein a Gaul being said simply to sacrifice, I 
think fit to relate the wffiole story. ’Tis thq eigth 
of Parthenius of Niceds Love-stories, related before 
him (as' lie says) in the first book of the History 
written by Aristodemus of Nysa, now lost. This 
Parthenius addresses his book to Cornelius Cal¬ 
lus, for whose use he wrote it, being the same to 
whom Virgil inscrib’d his tenth Edo-g. The story 
runs thus. “ When (6) the Gauls had made an in- 
« cursion into Ionia, and sack’d most of the cities, 

‘ ‘ f 

ei the Thesmophorian festival was celebrated at 
u Miletus; which occasioning all the women to as- 
tc semble together in the Temple, that was not far 
“ from the city : part of the Barbarian army, which 
«•' separated from the rest, made an irruption into the 
• c Milesian territory, and seiz’d upon those women; 
,e whom the Milesians were forc’d to ransom, giving 
in exchange a great sum of gold and silver. Yet 
the Barbarians took some of them away for dc~ 

(4) Ethos cP autois esti, medena thaSian poioin anea philosophou. Lib. 5, 

pag. 308. Edit. Hancv. , 

(5) Ethuon de oak aneu DruidSn. Lib. 4. png. 303. Edit Amsiel • 

(6) Hole de hoi Gaiatai katedramon ten Ionian, et quae sequwAur. 



“ mestic use, among whom was Erippe (7) the wife 
“ of Xanthus (a man of the first rank and birth in 
“ Miletus) leaving behind her a boy onely two years 
“ olde. Now Xanthus passionately loving his wife, v 
“ turn’d part of his substance into money, and having 
“ amass’d a thousand pieces of gold, he crooss’d over 
“ with the soonest into Italy; whence being guided 
“ by some whom he had intertain’d in Greece, he 
tc came to Marseilles, and so into Gaule. Then he 
“ went to the house where his wife was, belonging 
“ to a man of the greatest authority among the 
“ Gauls, and intreated to be lodg’d there; whereupon 
“ those of the family, according to that nation’s usual 
“ Hospitality, cheerfully receiving him, he went in 
“ and saw his wife; who running to him with open 
“ arms, very lovingly led him to his apartment.- 
“ Cavara (8) the Gaul, who had been abroad, re- 
“ turning soon after, Erippe acquainted him with 
“ the arrival of her Husband ; and that it was for her 
“ sake he came, bringing with him the price of her 
“ redemption. The Gaiil extoll’d the generosity of * 
“ Xanthus, and strait inviting several of his own 

friends and nearest relations, hospitably treated 

him; making a feast on purpose, and placing his 
“ wife by his side : then asking him by an interpreter 
“ what his whole estate was worth, and Xanthus 

(7) Aristodemus calls her Gythimia. 

(8) So he’s nam'd by Aristodemus: and it is to this 
day a common name in Ireland. Via. Act for attainting 
Shane ONeil* 



“ answering a thousand pieces of gold; the Barbarian 
“ order’d him to divide that sum into four parts, 

“ whereof he should take back three, one for himself, 
<c one for his wife, and one for his little son, but that 
“ he shou’d leave him the fourth for his wife’s ran* 
“ som. When they went to bed, bis wife heavily 
“ chid Xanthus, as not having so great a sum of 
“ gold to pay the Barbarian ; and that be was in 
“ danger, if he could not fulfill his promise. He 
“ told her, that he had yet a thousand pieces ■ 
more hid in the shoos of his servants ; for 
“ that he did not expect to find any Barbarian 
“ so equitable, believing her ransom wou’d have 
“ cost him much more. Next day the wife 
“ inform’d the Gaul wdiat a great sum of gold 
“ there was, and bids him kill Xanthus ; assur- 
“ ing him, that she lov’d him better than her 
“ country or her child, and that she mortally 
“ hated Xanthus. Cavara took no delight in 
« this declaration, and resolv’d in his own mind 
« from that moment to punish her* Now when 
“ Xanthus was in haste to depart, the Gaul very 
“ kindly permitted it, going with him part of 
“ the way, and leading Erippe. When the Bar- 
“ barian had, accompany’d them as far as the mouri- 
“ tains of Gaule, he said, that, before they part- 
“ ed, he was minded to offer a sacrifice ; and 
“ having adorn’d the victim, he desir’d Erippe 
“ to lay hold of it : which she doing, as at o- 
“ ther times she was accustom’d, he brandished 




ills sword at her, ran her thro', and cut off 
“ her head; but pray'd Xanthus not to be at all 

concern’d, discovering her treachery to him, and 
“ permitting him to take away all his Gold.” ; Tis 
no more hence to be concluded, because no Druid is 
fhentioned, that Cavara offered this-' sacrifice with¬ 
out the ministry of one or more such, unless he 
'was of their number himself, which is not im¬ 
probable, than that a man of his quality was at¬ 
tended by no servants, because they are not spe¬ 
cially mentioned; for ordinary, as well as neces¬ 
sary circumstances, are ever supposed by good 
writers, where there is not some peculiar occa¬ 
sion of inserting them. 

III. In my third instance I return again to 
Hercules, of whom a story is told in the same 
book, whence we had the last ; which, tho relat¬ 
ed and recommended by the author as a good ar¬ 
gument fora Poem, affords however no small illus¬ 
tration, to what I maintain by much more posi¬ 
tive proofs, viz. that 66 Great Britain was denomin- 
“ ated from the province of Britain in Gaule, and 
“ that from Gaule the original inhabitants of all 
“ the Bullish Hands (I mean those of Cesar’s time) 
are descended.” Listen for a moment to Parthe- 
nius. ? Tis (9) said “ That Hercules , as he drove 

(9) Legetai de kai Heraklea, bole aj>’ Erutheias tas Genionou bous eg-ag-en,, 
halomenen dia tes Keiton ehbias,. aphikesthai para Rretaimon : to de at a. hup&r- 
them thugatera. Ke^inen oacma : tauten de, era$theisan tou Herakleous, katak- 
lupsai tas bous ; me theRiu te apodounai, el me proteron aute michtJainal; to* 


16 $ 

away from (10) Erythia the oxen of Geryon, 
“ had penetrated into the region of the Gauls, 
“ and that he came as far as Bretannus , who had 
* a daughter called Celtina. This young woman 
falling in love with HerculesJ hid his oxen; 
66 and wou’d not restore them, till he shou’d in- 
joy her first Mow Hercules being' desirous to 
“ recover his oxen,' and much more admiring the 
“ beauty of the maid, he lay with her ; and in 
“ due time was bom to them a -son named Cel- 
^ ins (11), from whom the Celts are so denomin- 
■“ atedC Many of the antient writers mention the 
incursion of Hercules into Gaule, when he made 
war against Geryon in Spain; which the jtidicious 
Diodorus Siculus shows to have been at the head 
of a powerful Army, not with his bare Club and 
Bow, as the Poets feign ; and that it was he who 
built the fortress of Alexia, whereof the Siege, 
many ages after by Julius Cesar , became so fam¬ 
ous. Diodorus likewise tells this very story of 
Parthenius , but without naming Bretannus or Cel- 
ikia . He onely says ( 12 ), (i A certain illustrious 


de Heraklea, to men toi kai tas bans epeigomenon anasosasthai : polu mailon to 
hallos ekplagenta tes kores sungenesthai ante : kai autois, chronou periekontos^ 
•geaesthai paida Keltou* apjti’ hou de Keltoi prosegorenthesaQ. Cap. SO. 

j |0) Now Cadiz* . 

{11) Callus, Gaelt. 

(IT) Tes Keltikes toinuri to palaion, hos phasin? edunasteuseil epiphanea 

ho thngater egeneto, &c__—michjheisa de to Heraklei -egesmeseB hvwa 

#* 1,0253 Galana——periboetos de genomenos ep’ andreia, tons hup* aiptoa 



“ man, that govern’d a Province in Gaule, had 

“ a daughter exceeding the rest of her sex, in 


M stature and beauty : who, tho despising all that 

“ made court to her, being of a very high spi« 

rit ; yet fell in love with Hercules , whose cour» 
“ age and majestic person she greatly admired. 
“ With her parent s consent she came to a right 
understanding with this hero, who begot on her a 
“ son, not unworthy the pair from whom he sprung, 
« either in body or mind. He was called Galates 
(IS), succeeded his grandfather in the government: 
“ and, becoming renown’d for his valor, his subjects 
« were called Galatians (14) after his name, as 
“ the whole country it self Galatia (15).” This 
is plainly the same story, onely that one writer 
supplies us with the names, which the other omits ; 
and Armorican Britain being probably the Province, 
wherein Bretannus rul’d (since we find it insinuated, 
that Hercules had penetrated far to come to him) 
’tis still more than probable, that it wa$ deno¬ 
minated from him ; as I shall prove beyond the 
possibility of contradiction, that our Britain had 
its name from that of Gaule, as New England 



tagmenotis onoroazen aph’ heautou Galatas, apV bon he sumpasa Galatia pro* 
gegoreuthe. Lib* 4. pag. 303^ 

(13) Callus. 

( 14 ) Galli. 

(15) Gallia . ■ 


has from the Old, Hesychius, in the word Bretan- 
nus, is of the same opinion with me. So is Di¬ 
onysius (16) Periegetes, with his Commentator (17) 
Eustathius: and I am not a little countenanced by 
Pliny the elder, who places (18) Britons on the 
maritim coasts of Gaule over against Great Bri¬ 
tain. But I have more evidence still. To say 
nothing at present of Cesar so many ages be¬ 
fore Eustathius , Tacitus likewise among the (19) 
antients, Beda among those of the middle (20) 
ages, and some of the most celebrated modem 
writers, are as express as words can possibly make 
■any thing, that Britain was peopled from Gaule, 
Nor is the epithet of Great, added to our Britain, 

(16) . .. 11 tha Bretanoi. 

Leuka te phula nemontai areimaneon Germaaon. 

- Ver. 284. 

(IT) Ton de Brettanon tauton paronumoi, hai antiperan Brettanides nesoi. 

(18) A Scaldi incolunt extera Toxandri pluribus 
nominibus: deinde Menapij, Morini, Oromansaci juncti 
Pago qui Gessoriacus vocatur: * BRIT ANN I, Ambiani, 
Bellovaci Hassi. Nat . His . Lib. 4. Cap. 17. 

( 19 ) In universum tamen aestimanti, Gallos vicinuro 
solum occupasse credibile est : eorum sacra deprehendas, 
superstitionum persuasione : Sermo baud multum diver- 
sus, fyc. Vit. Agric . Cap. 11. 

(20) Haec Insula Britones solum, a quibus nomen ac- 
cepit, incolas habuit; qui de tractu Annoricano, ut fertur, 
Britanniam advecti, australes sibi partes iilius vindicarunt. 
Hist. Eccles. Lib . 1 . Cap. 1 . 

l\ In quibusdam exemplaribus, sed erperam, BriannL 



any more an objection to this assertion ; than the 
coast of Italy, formerly called Magna Graecia, 
cou’d be made the mother country of Greece, when 
the cities of that coast were all Colonies from thence: 
besides that Great Britain was antiently so call’d 
with respect to Ireland , which, before the fable of 
the Welsh colony in Guide was invented, is call’d 
Little Britain , as you’ll see anon. These disquisi¬ 
tions come not into the History of the Druids , but 
into the annext Dissertation concerning the Celtic 
Language and Colonies . There you’ll see the folly 
of deriving* Britain from the fabulous Irish Hero 
Briotan, or from the no less imaginary Brutus 
the Trojan; nor is the word originally Pridcain, 
Prytania , Bridania , or descended from either Pheni- 
cian, or Scandinavian, or Dutch, or even any Brit- 
tish words. The insular Britons, like other Colonies, 
were long govern’d by those on the continent; and 
by the neighboring Provinces, who join’d in making 
settlements here. It was so even as low down as a 
little before Julius Cesar’s conquest; in whose (21) 
Commentaries it is recorded, that those of Soissons 
had within their memory , say the ambassadors of 
Rheims to him, Divitiacus (22) for their King , the 

(21) Suessones esse suos finitimos, latissimos feracis- 
simosque agros possidere : a pud eos fuisse Regem nostra 
etiam memoria Divitiacum, totiusGalliae potentissimum ; 
qui, cum magnate partis harum regionum, turn etiam Bri- 
tanniae imperium obtinuerit. Ue Bello Gallico , Lib. 2, 
Cap. 4. 

(22) Different from Divitiactjs the Eduan or Berg'undiatn 


most potent Prince of all Gaule: who sw&fd the 
scepter , not onely of a great part of those regions * 

hut also of Britain. In the same Dissertation , after 


exploding the Welsh fable about Britain in France, 
you’ll read as positive proofs, that the ancient Irish, 
not one of their Colonies excepted, the Nemetes, the 
Firbolgs, the Danannans, and the Milesians, were all 
from Gaule and Great Britain ; whose language, reli¬ 
gion, customs, laws and government, proper names of 
men and places, they constantly did and do still use : 
whereas, to forbear at present all other arguments, 
not one single word of the Irish tongue agrees with 
the Cantabrian or Biscaian, which is the true old 
Spanish ; the present idiom being a mixture of Latin, 
Gothic, and Arabic. Besides this, all the antients 
knew and held the Irish to be Britons, as Ireland it 
self is bj Ptolomy call’d (23) Little Britain. They 
were reckon’d Britons by Aristotle, who in his book 
de Mundo , calls the country (24) lerne ; as Orpheus 
before him (2.5) lends, if Onomacritus be not the 
author of the Argonautica, or rather, as Suidas asserts, 
Orpheus of Crotona, contemporary frith the Tyrant 
Pisistratus. And if this be true, Archbishop Usher 
did not Gasconnade, when he (26) said, that the 

{23) Mikra Brettania, in Almagest. Lib. 2. cap. 6, 

{?. i) En touto g-e men (okeano) nesoi megistai te tanehanousia ousai duo* 
Bretaaikai legomenai, Albion kai lerne. Cap. 3. 

' ' %> y" ' , • -> 

(2y) Ankaios d’ oickas epistaraends etitame. 

Par d’ ara neson ameiben leraida— —~—~Ver. 1240, 

(26) Primord. Eccles, Britannicar. pag. 724 


Roman people cou’d not any where be found so an- 
tiently mention'd as lernis . Dionysius Periegetes , 
before cited, is of the same opinion in his description- 
cf the (21) world , that the Irish were Britons : as Ste- 
phanus Bymntius names it (28) Brittish Juvernia , the 
least of the two Hands . Diodorus Siculus mentions 
(29) the Britons inhabiting the Hand call'd Iris , a 
name better expressing Ere, vulgarly Erinn, the right 
name of Ireland, than I erne , Juverna, Hibernia , or 
any name that has been either poetically or otherwise 
us’d* Strabo stiles Ireland (SO) Brittish lerna, as 
his antient Abridger calls the Irish (SI), the Britons 


inhabiting lerna : and, if we may intermix ludicrous 
with serious things, where ’tis now read in the same 
Strabo, that the Irish were great eaters (32) his said 
Abridger reads it herb-eaters (SS); which wou’d in¬ 
duce one to believe, that so long ago Shamrogs were 
in as great request there as at present. Pliny says 
in express words (34), that “ every one of the Brit- 



Dissai nesoi easi Brettanides antia Renou. Ver . 566. 

louernia he Pretannike, ton duo elassdn. 


Hcisper kai ton RretanSn, tous katcikountas ten onoraazomen^p 

Irin. Lib. 5. pag. 309. 

(30) Hoi ten Bretaniken Iernen idontes, &c. lib. 1. pag. 110. 

(31) Hoi ten Iernqn neson katoikountes Bretanoi. lib. S. 

(S 2) PoluphagtM. 

(33) Poephagov 

(34) Brit&naia data Graecis nostrisque scriptoribus--* 



“ tish Hands was call’d Britain ; whereas Albion was 
“ the distinguishing name of the Britain now pecu- 
liarly so call’d, and so famous in the Greec and 
“ Roman writings.” These particulars, I repeat it, 
much below the dignity of our History, will be found 
in the before-mention’d Dissertation ; which, tho’ infi- 
nitely less useful, 1 dare prophesy will be full as much 
read, if not much more relish’d. The greatest men 
however have not thought it unbecoming them, to 
search at their leisure into such Originals: and I, for 
my part, found it almost a necessary imployment, con* 
sidering the light it adds to my principal work. 

IV. To return thither therefore, there are diverse 
•v passages, some longer some shorter, in the most antient 
Greec authors we have, or copy’d by these from such 
as are quite lost; which, tho’ generally neglected and 
unobserv’d, will be no small ornament to the History 
I have taken in hand. And, to say it here by the 
the way, ’tis certain that the more antient Greec 
writers, such as Hecateus, Eudoxus, Hipparchus, 
Eratosthenes, Polybius, Posidonius (not to speak 
of Dicearchus and others) knew a great deal of truth 
concerning the Brittish Hands : by reason of the fre¬ 
quent navigations of the Greecs into these parts, after 
the way was shown them by the Phenicians • so anti¬ 
ent an author as Herodotus affirming, that his coun- 

, * 

Albion ipsi nomen fuit, cum Britanniae vocarentur omnes 
Insulae nempe Britannicae. Nat. Hist, lib, i l,eap, 16 . 




trymen had their Tin from (35) hence, tho’ he cou’d 
give little account of the Hand. But this commerce 
being interrupted for several ages afterwards, the later 
writers did not onely themselves vend abundance of 
fables about these northern parts of the world; but 
treat as fabulous, what their Predecessors had record¬ 
ed with no less honesty than exactness. Of this I 
shall have occasion to give some convincing proofs in 
this very Letter. But not to forget the passages of 
the antients, when you calif to mind those Rocking- 
stones set up by the Druids, describ'd in the xivth and 
xvith Section of our second Letter, and whereof seve¬ 
ral are yet standing ; you’ll not doubt but ’tis one of 
them, that is mention’d in the Abridgement we have 
■ of Ptolomy Hephestion’s History: who, in the third 
chapter of the third book, is said to have written about 
the (36) G1GONIAN STONE standing near the 
ocean; which is mov’d with such a small matter as the 
stalk of asphodel, tho ’ immoveable against the greatest 
force imaginable. This passage needs, in my opinion, 
no comment. But we are to note, when those old 
writers talk of any thing near the Ocean with respect 
to the straights of Hercules (37), and without speci¬ 
fying the place; that it may then be on the coast of 

(35) Gate nesous oida Kassitendas eousas* ek ton ho kassiteros lie min 
phoita. Lib. Ob cap. IIS® 

(36) Peri tes peri ton Okeanon Gigonias petras$, kai hcti mono asphodelo 
kineitai, pros pasan bian ametakimetos ousa* 

' . _ l M 

(37) Now of Gibraltar. 




Spain, or of France, in the Bfittish Hands, or on any 
of the northern shores. It is onely to • be discoverd 
either by matter of fact, or by probable circumstances: 
as this Gigoniah stone (for example) was necessarily in- 
some of the Celtic or Brinish territories, whose Druids 
alone set up such stones. So were the Birds, whereof 
I am now going to speak. “ What Artemidorus has 
deliever’d concerning the Ravens, says (38) Strabo 9x 
t€ sounds very much, like a. fable. He tells us, that 
there is a certain lake near the Ocean, which is 
calM the lake-of'the two ravens, because two ravens, 
appear in it, which have some white in their wing: 
that such as have any controversy together come 
“ thither loan elevated places where they set.a table, 
each laying on a cake separately for himselfand 
“ that those, birds flying thither, eat the one while 
^ they scatter the other about; so that he, whose, 
cake is thus scatter'd, gets the better of the dispute.” . 

Such fables does he relate! But I wow’d ask Sira- 


[ 5o, what is there fabulous in all this ? or why shoifd 
the rude Gauls and Britons being influenc’d by the 
eating or not eating of ravens, be thought more 
strange or fabulous, than the tripudium solis,timum of 
chickens among the polite Romans ? which Qasau- 

bon, I will not say how truely, thinks was deriv- 

< > 

(38) Touts d r eti muthodesteron. eireken ArtemidSros, to peri tous Xorakas. 
snmbamon. Limena gar tin a tes parokeanitidos. historei dao korakon eponoma- 
somencn; phainesthai d y en touto duo korakas, ten dexian pteruga para- 
leukon ecbontas; tous oun peri tinon ampbisbetounias, aphikomer.ous deuro 
epb" hupseiou topou, sanida thentas, epiballein psaista, ekateron cboris: tous 
4* orneis ephiptantas ta men esthiein, tade skorpizein ; on d* an skorpisthe ta 
psaista 4 ekeinon ijikan, Tauta men oun rauthodestera legei. Lib . pag. 3Q3i 


ITS the history 

02 ^, - . L; l — = ... 1 ..i i ii 

ed from these very (39) ravens. If Strabo had 
Said, that the Divination it self was superstitious 
and vain, or that it was ridiculous to imagine the 
ravens cou’d discern the cake of the guilty from 
that of the innocent, tho’ they might greedily eat 
one of them when hungry, and wantonly sport 
with the other when their bellies were full, no 
jnan’ of judgement would contradict him. As for 
ravens having some white in their wings, it con¬ 
tains nothing fabulous, I my self having seen such, 
and no Ornithologists omitting them. I will own in- 
deed, that so uncommon a thing as white in the 
wing of a raven, and for a couple of them to hold a 
place so cunningly to themselves, was enough to work 
-Upon the superstitious fancies of* ignorant people, who 
laid such stress above all nations upon Augury; so 
that in this whole story of the two ravens, nothing 
' appears to me either fabulous or wonderful. Nay I 
am persuaded Artemidqrus was in the right, there 
being examples at this, time of ravens thus securing a 
place to themselves ; and the first I shall give is, far 
ought any body knows, the very place hinted by Ar- 
temidorus. Dr. Martin, in his Description of the 
lies of Scotland, discoursing of Bernera, which is five 
mile's in circumference, and lyes about two leagues to 
the south of Harries, “ in this Hand, says (40) he, 
there’s a couple of ravens, which beat away all 

(39) In Atmotatione ad hunc Strabonis locum. 

( 40 ) Page 47 , 



“ ravenous fowls: and when their young are able to 
“ fly abroad, they beat them also out of the Hand, 

“ but not without many blows and a great noise.” 
In this Hand moreover, to remark a further aaree- 
jnent with Artemidorus, there’s a fresh-water lake 
called Loch-bruist, where many land and sea-fowl 
build. He tells us (41) elsewhere of another such 
couple, which are of the same inhospitable, or rather 
cautious and frugal disposition, in ix little Hand near 
North-Uist ; and still of such another couple ( 42 ), 

in all respects, upon the He of Troda near Sky* 


But as Eagles were no less birds of Augury than 
ravens, the Doctor, in his account of a little Hand 
near the greater one of Lewis (43), says that he saw 
a couple of eagles there; which, as the natives assured 
him, would never suffer any other of their kind to 
continue in the Hand: driving away their own young 
ones, as ' soon as they are able to fly. The natives 
told him further, that those eagles are so careful of 
the place of \ their abode, that they never killed any 
sheep or lamb in the Hand; tho’ the bones of lambs, 
fawns, and wild-fowl, are frequently found in and 
about their nests : so that they make their purchase 
in the opposite Hands, the nearest of which is a 
league distant. There is such another couple of 
eagles, and as tender of injuring their native country, 

(41) Rage 60. 

(42) Page 166. 

(43) Page 25 , j 



on the north end of St. Kilda (44) which Hands may 
be viewed in the map of Scotland. I must observe 

■ v* *» vjfir. • 

on this occasion, that there is no part of our educa¬ 
tion so difficult to be eradicated as SUPERSTI¬ 
TION ; which is industriously instilled into men, 
from their cradles by their nurses, by their parents, 
by the very servants, by all that converse with them* 
by their tutors and school-masters, by the poets, 
orators, and historians which they read : but more 
particularly by the Priests, sWho in most parts of the 
world are hired to keep the people in error, being' 
commonly backed by the example and authority of 
the Magistrate. Augury was formerly one of the 
most universal Superstitions, equally practised by the 
Greecs and the Barbarians; certain Priests in all na¬ 
tions, pretending, tho’ by very contrary rites and 
observations, to interpret the language, the flight, and 
feeding of birds: as Eneas thus addresses Helen 
the Priest of (45) Apollo, 


Trojugena, interpres. Divum } qut numina Phoebi, 

Qut tripodas, Clarii lauros, qui sidera sentis , 

Jit volucrum linguas , et praepetis oniina pennae. 

Fare age. 

Now to comprehend what deep reot Superstition 
takes, and how the sap keeps alive in the stump, 
ready to sprout forth again, after the trunk and 
branches have for many ages been cut off; I beg- 

{44} Page 299. ' ' 

(45) Virg. Aen. lib. 3, 


your patience to hear the following story, espe¬ 
cially since we are upon the subject of ravens. 
When 1-was in Dublin in tho year 1697, I walk¬ 
ed out one day to the village of Finglass, and 
■overtook upon the way two gentlemen of the old 
Irish stock, with whom I had contracted some 
acquaintance at the coffee-house. They told, me 
they were going a good way further, about a bu¬ 
siness of some importance ; and not many minutes 
after one of them cried out with joy to the other* 
see cousin, by heaven matters will go well: point¬ 
ing at the same instant to a raven feeding and 
hopping hard by, which had a white feather or 
two in the wing that was towards us. The o- 
ther appeared no less transported, nor would they 
stir till they saw what way the raven flew ; which be¬ 
ing to the south of them, and with a great noise* 
they were fully confirmed about the success of 
their business. This brought to my remembrance 
that oblative Augury in (&6) Virgil : 

Scarce had he mid , when full before his sight y , 

Two doves , descending from their airy flight , > 

Secure upon the grassy plain alight —— ^ 

—--- With watchful sight 

Observing still the motions of their flighty 

What course they took , what happy signs they sheio l 

They fled '* and s fluttering by degrees , withdrew-*-*^» 

Deyden's Translate 

Gemmae cum forte Columbae 
Ipsa sub ora viri coelo venere volantes, 

Et viridi sedere solo-—vestigia pressit* 
Observans quae signa ferant, quo tendere pergant. 

Aeneid* lib, 6, ven 19Q* 



Nor was I unmindful, you may be sure, of that pas¬ 
sage in (47) Plautus, 

'Tis not for nought, that the Raven sings now on my left ; 

And, croaking, has once scrap’d the earth ivith his feet. 

Upon my putting some questions to those gentlemen, 
they said it was certain by the observation of all ages, 
that a raven having any white in its wings, and flying 
on the right hand of any person, croaking at the 
same time, was an infallible presage of good luck. 
I used a great many arguments to show them the 
vanity and unreasonableness of this piece of Supersti¬ 
tion, comparing it among other extravagancies, to the 
no less absurd one of dreams ; where if one happens by 
chance to come to pass, while ten thousand fail, these 
are forgot and the other remembered. But. I am 
persuaded all I did or could say, even my argument 
ad homi'nem, in proving that Augury was specially 
forbid by the Law of Moses, would have made little 
impression on them ; had it not been that they uns¬ 
eamed in what they went about, as one of them 
candidly owned to me some weeks afterwards, who 
could then listen to my reasons, and seemed to taste 
them. Thus far have I been led by the ravens of 
Artemidorus. But I have not rambled yet so far 
after birds as the old Gauls, “ whereof a part, to use 

(47) Non temere est, quod corvos cantat mihi nunc ab 
laeva manu ; 

Semel radebat pedibus terrain, et voce crocitabat 


Aulul. Act. 4. Seen. 3. ver, I, 


“ the words of (48) Justin after 'Trqgus, settled in 
“ Italy, which took and burnt the city of Rome; 
r: while another part of them penetrated into the 
“ Illyric bays, by the slaughter of the Barbarians, and 
“ under the guidance of birds, for the Gauls ex- 


settled in Pannoniatelling next, how, after dU 
viding their forces, they invaded Greece, Macedonia* 
and most parts of Asia, where they founded the Gal- 
logrecian Tetrarchy. But still you see they were 
birds, that guided those famous expeditions, 


V. 1 have by good authorities shown before, 
that the antientest Greec writers had much great¬ 
er certainty, and knew many more particulars, con¬ 
cerning the Brittish Hands, even the most remote 
and minute, than such as came after them ; by 
reason that the Grecian trade hither, open’d first 
by the Phenicians, had been for a long time in¬ 
terrupted, or rather quite abandon’d. Thus in 
time the original Relations came to be look’d up¬ 
on as so many fables, at which I do not so much 
wonder in any man, as in the most judicious of 
all Geographers and the most instructive, I mean 
the Philosopher Strabo. These later Greecs were 
implicity credited and transcrib’d by the Roman 

(48) Ex his portio in Italia consedit, quae et urbern 
Romam captain incendit ; et portio lilyricos sinus, duci- 
bus Avibus (nam Augurandi studio Gaili praeter eeteros 
callent) per strages Barbarorum penetravit, et in Pannonia 
consedit. Lib, 24. cap, 4. 




writers, till Britain came to be fully known, hav¬ 
ing rather been shown than conquer’d by Julius 
Cesar ; and scarce believed to be an Hand, tho’ it 
Was- constantly affirmed to be so by the most antieni 
discoveries, till Yes-pas-fa-nY Lieutenant, Agricola, 
found- it beyond ail possibility of contradiction to be 
an (49) Hand) part ef the' Roman fleet sailing round 
it. But of the remotest Hands there has been no 
exact account from that time to this. That of 
Donald Monro, in James the fifth of Scotland’s 
time, is very imperfect : and tho’ in our own time 
Doctor Martin, Avho Is a native ©f one f)f those 

Hands, has travelled over them all to laudable pur- 


pose; yet his descriptions are in many instances too 
short, besides that he emits- several observations, 
which his- own materials show he ought to have fre- 
suently made. Considering therefore the curious- 
things out of him and others, that may be agree¬ 
ably read in my two former Letters, • together with 
many more accounts of Monuments there, which 
I have from good hands, I own that I am pas¬ 
sionately desirous to spend one Summer in those 
Hands, before the History of the Di'uids makes 
its public appearance in the world. But I return 
to the antient writers who mention the remotest 
Brittish Hands, of whom Pytheas of Massilia, a 
Greec colony in Gaule, now Marseilles, is the very 

(49) Hanc oram novissimi maris tunc primum Ro- 
mana Chassis circumvecta, insulam esse Britanniam aiL 
firmavit. Tacit . in Vita Jgric. cap . 10, 



first'on record. He liv’d in the time of Alex¬ 
ander the Great, and published his Geographical 
work, or rather his Voyages, mtitled (SO) the 
Tour of the Earth before his eontemporary Ti¬ 
mers wrote, or -or, Eratosthenes, or 
Polybius ; who followed each other, and who in 
some things disagree. This Pytheas:, and also one 
Euthymenus, were seat by the Senate of Mar- 
seilles to make discoveriesthe former to the 
north, the latter to the south. Euthymenes, sail¬ 
ing along the coast of Africa past the line : and 
Pytheas, landing in Britain and Ireland, as well 
as on the German coast and m Scandinavia, sail¬ 
ed beyond Iceland. Both the one and the other 


made suck discoveries, as long past for fables-: 
but time, by means of our modern navigation, 
lias done both of them justice. Pytheas, on his 
part, was terribly decay'd by Strabo, who with¬ 
out ceremony calls him (51) a most lying fdow : 
tho’ lie’s since found, and now known by every¬ 
body, to be muck more in the right than him¬ 
self. Nothing is more exact, than what he lias 
related, or that is related after him, of the tem¬ 
perature of the Brittish climate, of the length of 
the nights and- days, of the strange birds and. 
monstrous fishes of the Northern Ocean : nor is 
it a small loss, that a Treatise lie wrote in par- 

(;j0) Ges periodos. Scholiast, in Apoliomi Argnnautica s Lib . 4. ad vers. 78L 
(SI) Patheas atier pesadeslatos ekset'astah Lib • b p, 1 10. 



ticular of the Ocean lias perished with his other 
Works, whereof we have onely a few fragments. 
He was the first, for ought appears, that mention¬ 
ed Thule , meaning thereby the utmost inhabited 
Hand beyond Britain ; from which he says it is 
about (52) six days sail, and near the frozen sea, 
which perfectly agrees to Iceland. But Strabo 
denies that there was ever any (53) Thule, or 
that any thing beyond Iceland, which he places to the 
north of Great Britain, whereas it is due west 
of it, either was or cou’d be inhabited, “ They, 
says he, in his (54) first Book, who have seen 
“ Brittish Ireland, speak nothing about Thule, but 
“ onely that there are several small Hands near 
« Britain,” In the second Book, he (55) says. 

(52) —~ Dia Thoules, hen phesi Putheas apo men tes Bretanikes heks he- 
moron ploun apeoheiu psos apkton, engus deimi tes pepeg-uias thglattes. Ibid , 
pa S . 109. x 

(53) Tul in the ancient language signifies naked and 
bleak, as Iceland has neither tree nor shrub; so that Tul-i, 
without any alteration, is the noted Hand, the most proper 
name for Iceland, and which foreners must have naturally 
learnt of the Britons, whether Ibernian or Albionian. Tul, 
gach ni nocht. Till is every naked thing, says O Cilery in 
his Vocabulary o f obsolete words. It was a slender affinity 
of sound, that made I/a (one of the western Scottish lies) 
to be taken for Thule ; for neither is it the utmost land of 
Europe, nor yet of the Brittish Bands themselves. See 
what I have written in the second book concerning thedis* 
yutcs about I hiile, 

(54) Hoi ten RretanikSn Iemeu identes, or;den peri tes Thoules le^ousin; 
:dlas nesous legontQS tnichras peri ten Bretanikem Ibid.' pag. 110, 

(55) Ho de gje apo tes Keltikes pros arkton, pious eschatos legetai para 

|.? s et i ten lernen, epekeina men ousan tes Bretanikes, athlios de dia, 

piuiotvos oikotimenen; haste ta epekeina nonii?ein aaiketa. Id. Lib. £. pag. 224. 





“ The utmost place of navigation in our time, 

* from Gaule towards the north, is said' to be 

“ Ireland ; which being situated beyond Britain, 

“ is by reason of the cold, with difficulty inhabit- 
“ ed : so that all beyond it,” continues he, “ Is 
“ reckoned uninhabitable.” This of Ireland, name- 
ly, that it is the north of Britain, and scarce 

habitable for cold, he repeats again in two or 

three places ; from which he draws this conclusion, 
that there is no Thule at all, since nothing is 
habitable beyond .Ireland : which therefore, ac¬ 
cording to him, is the most northerly part of 
the habitable earth. T on se* here how much 

more in the right Pytheas wtct 9 who liv'd in 
the time of Alexander , than Strab\ who lived in 
the time of Augustus and Tiberius ; and that it 
is a proceeding no less impertinent fc»an unjust, 
to have any man contradicted who was ipon the 
spot, but by such others as were also theio : un¬ 
less the things related be manifestly impossible, 
or that the relator , is no competent judge; as if 
a traveller,. who understands no mathematics, ' should 
affirm the Malabarians to be the best Mathema¬ 
ticians in the world. But Strabo, who, notwith¬ 
standing all these gross mistakes in the extremi¬ 
ties of Europe, is one of the foremost authors 
in my esteem : Strabo, I say, a little lower in 
the same book, as doubting whether lie was in 
the right, and pretending it was no great matter 
should he be in the wrong, affirms that -at least 







it is not known whether there be any- habitable 
place beyond Ireland, which he still places to the 
north of Britain, “ nor (56) is it of any importance 
to the Prince, says he, to have an exact no- 
“ tice of such regions or their inhabitants; e.-pe- 
te daily should they live in such Hands, which 
“ cannot contribute any, thing to our damage or 
“ profit, meaning the Romans, there being no in- 
« tercourse between us" This reflection might 
perhaps be true with respect to the Emperor and 
the Empire: yet it b a very lame reason for a 
Geographer, who is accurately to describe all places, 
let them have relation to his Prince or not. But 
the truth of it 5, lie would not believe the an- 
tient Greec an» Massilian sailors; neither had he 
any better ^formation himself, whereby to sup¬ 
ply or to /orrect them. 

VI. is for Ireland, it was very well known to 
the more antient Geographers, as I showed before; 
it being directly in the way of the Phenicians, who 
ire said by (57) Aristotle to have discovered it, 
when they sailed for Britain. Lying therefore so 
conveniently for the Phenicians, Grecians, Spaniards, 

(56) Pros te tas Kegemonikas chreias ©uden an eie pleonektema, tas toI~ 
autas gnoiizein choral kai tons oikountas: kai roalista ei nesous oikein toiautas, 
hai mete lupein mete, oplielein hemas dunanta meden, dia to anepiplektori. 

Ibid, pag . 176. 

(57) En te thalasse, te ekso Herakleion stel5n, pliasin hupo Karchedonion 
neson euretbenai eremen, echousan hulen te pantodape, kai potamous piotons, 
kai tois Soipois Earpois thaumasten, apechousan de pleionon hemeron; et quae 

tequuntur illic rcliqun , Hiberniae imprimis convenientia . De Mirabil. Ausirultat, 


and Gauls, it was always a place of great trade: and 
for this reason Tacitus (58) says, agreeable to the 
Irish annals, u that it's ports were better known for 

* trade, and more frequented by merchants, than 

* those of Britain.” Neither is Pytheas’s account 
of the frozen sea, any more than that of Thule, a 
fable. Whoever was in' Greenland, knows it to be 
literally true. It is therefore, in the antient Greec 
and Roman books, called the Icy, the slow, (59) the 
congealed, the dead sea; as I have read that it is in 
some Arabic books v very properly written, the dark 
sea and the sea of pitch. In the oldest Irish books 
it is called by words (60) that import the foul? and 
the foggy sea; and likewise Muir-chroinn> or the 
coagulated (61) sea, from the word Croinn , which 
signifies close and thick as well as (62) round. From 
this original, which Pytheas and other travellers 
learnt bo doubt from the Britons, this sea was named 
(63) Cranium : and not, as afterwards invented from 
the mere sound, because Cronos or Saturn , was in- 

(58) Melius aditus portusque, per eommercia et ne- 
gotiatoresl cogniti. Vit Agric . cap. 24. 

(59) Mare glaciale, pigrum, congelatum, mortuum, 

Y60) ' Muirckeacht, Muircheoach . 

(61) Mare concretum. 

(62) f Crunn has the same signification in Welsh ; and 
Cronni or Croinnigh in both the languages signifies to ga r 
ther, to obstruct, to heap, and particularly Cronni to thicken 
or stagnate waters : so that this derivation of the Cronian , 
and congeal'd sea > cannot be reasonably call’d in question, 

( 63 ) Hals b'oaiS, 


chanted in Ogygia, an Hand west of Britain ; which 
Is fabulously reported by (64) Plutarch and other 
writers, who have hitherto been inconsiderately fol¬ 
lowed by every body. I wonder they do not 
affirm after them, since they may do so with equal 
reason, that some of the west and north Brittish 
Hands are possest by (65) heroes and departed souls. 
The northern sea, even before one comes to the Icy 
part, and perhaps, most properly, may be termed slow 
and dead , by reason of the Rousts , or meetings of 
contrary Tides; whose conflict is sometimes so equal, 
that they are a great impediment to the boat or ship’s 
way: nay sometimes, tho’ under sail, they can make 
no way at all; but are very often impetuously whirled 
round, and now and then quite swallowed up. This 
kind of shipwrack is no less naturally than elegantly 
described by Virgil, when he relates the fate of 
Orontes who commanded a ship under E yeas : 

Ipsius ante oculos ingens a vertice pantus 

In puppim ferit ; excutitur , proniisque magister 

4 ( 

Vohitur in capnt: ast Mam ter fiuctus ibidem 

Torquet agens circum , el rapidus vorat aequore vortex, 

Aen. lib, 1. 

I should not forget here, that, upon the discovery of 


(94) De facie in orbe Lunae ; de Defectu Oracidor. Vh 
dendi etiam Orpheus in Argonauticis , Pjlinius, Solik- 
Xjs, Isaac ius Tzetzes in Lycophrok is Alexandram , &c» 

(65) lidem consulendi, quorum in Amiotatione prance- 
denti mentio : nec non m Horatii Epodam 16 comment 
tantes legend?. 



Thule by Pytheas, one Antonius Diogenes wrote a 
Romance in twenty four books, which he intituled the 
Incredibilities of Thule ; where he laid his scene, and 
whereof Photius has given some (66) account I 
have,dwelt the longer upon these Hands, because 
they did not onely, like the other parts of Britain?, 
abound with Druids, who have there left various, 
memorials of themselves: but also because the last 
looting they had in the world was here, which makes 
it little less than essential to my subject. Nor was 
it in the lie of Alan alone, that a peculiar Govern¬ 
ment was set up by their procurement or approba¬ 
tion ; as you have read in my second Letter of 
their Disciple, the admirable Legislator Manan - 
nan . There was likewise another Government of 
their erection, singular enough, in the (67) Hebrides ; 
where better provision was made against the chang¬ 
ing of an elective into a hereditary Monarchy, and 
against all other exorbitances of the Prince, than 
ever I read in any author antient or modern. So~ 
linns speaking of these Hands, there is one King, 
« says (68) he, over them all; for they are, as 

(66) T5n huper Thoulen apist5n logoi kd. In Bibliotheca , cod , 166 > 

(67) Another name for the Western lies, equivalent to 
the Hebrides : if they were not originally the same, hav¬ 
ing- perhaps by the mistake of Transcribers been written 
for each other; nothing being easier, than to confound ui 
with ri, or ri with ui, as antiently written. 

(68) Rex unus est universis : nam quotquot sunt, om« 
nes angusta interluvie dividuntur. Rex nihil strain habet, 

A 2 



<J many as be of them, divided onely by narrow 
" e channels. This King has nothing of his own, 

“ but shares of every thing that every man has. 

« He is by certain Laws obliged to observe 
equity: and lest avarice should make him de- 
“ viate from the right way, he learns justice 
“ from Poverty; as having no manner ■ of pro- 
perty, being maintained upon the public ex« 

“ pence. He has not as much as a wife of his ' 
own, but by certain turns makes use of any 
woman towards whom he has an inclination ; 

“ whence it happens, that he has neither the de- 
sire nor the hope of any children. 5 " Tis pity 
this author has not specifyed those Laws, by which 
equity was prescribed to the Hebudian Monarch, 
in injoying what was proper for him of other 
men’s goods: and that he has not told us, how 
those vicissitudes were regulated, whereby he had 
the temporary use of other men’s wives, who 
nevertheless were to father all the children. As 
1 showed this passage one day to a couple of 
my friends, one of them readily agreed, that the 
State must needs find their account in this con¬ 
stitution ; both as it saved the expence of trea¬ 
sure in maintaining .a numerous Royal Progeny, 

t % * 

omnia universorum. Ad acquit,atem certis Legibus strin- 
gitur ; ac, ne avaritia divert at a vero, discit paupertate 
justitiam : utpote cui nihil sit rei familiaris, verum alitur 
e publico. Nulla ilii datur foemina propria ; sed per vi- 
cissitudines, in quacunque com mot us sit, usurariam sunlit ? 
unde ei nec votum* nec speg, Liberorum* Cap . 22 . 





and as it saved the expenee of blood in settling 
their several claims or contentions: but had it 
not been, said he, for the strict care taken against 
accumulating riches or power on the Prince^ I 
should have naturally thought, that it was one 
of those Druidicai Priests, who had thus advan¬ 
tageously carved for himself. Hereupon the other 
replyed, that he fancyed such Priests would be 
contented to have plentiful eating and drinking, 
and variety of women, thus established by Law 
for them; since it was for no other end, he con¬ 
ceived, but to obtain these, that they struggled 
so hard any where for power and riches. But 
if this were so, the Druids could be at no man¬ 
ner of loss about their pleasures; considering the 
sway they bore in the civil authority, and their 
management of the much more powerful engine 
of * Superstition: “ for without the Druids, who 

« understand Divination and Philosophy, says (69) 
« Dion Chrysostom, the Kings may neither do 
“ nor consult any thing; so that in reality they 
a are the Druids who reign, while the Kings, 
li t ho’ they sit on golden thrones, dwell in spa- 
« clous palaces, and iced on costly dishes, aie 
« onely their Ministers, and the executioners of 

(59; Keltoi de hous or.omazotisi Druidas, kai toutous pen mantiken ontas 
alien sophian, hon aneu tois Basileusin ouden eksen prattein oude bou« 
th a i - hoste to men al§thes ekeinous archein, tous de basileas autoa bupere- 
is kai’diakoneus gegnethai tes gnomes, en thronois chrusois kathemenous, kai 
ikias megalas oikountas, kai polutimos euodioumencus. De recusaUone Map* 

rat, i?i S emtu, pag. 538, Edit Fane. 



. . '■ !■ I 

“ their Sentence ” Judge now what influence those 
Priests had upon the People, when they might 
thus control the Prince; and consequently, whe¬ 
ther they could possibly want any thing, that 
brought them either pleasure or power. The Kings 
bore all the envy, and the Druids possesst all 
the sweets of authority. 

VII. But leaving both a while, I submitt to 
your Lordship’s consideration; upon such evidences 
and proofs as I am going to produce; whether 
the Hyperborean Hand, so much celebrated by an¬ 
tiquity, be not some one or more of the remotest 
Brittish Hands: and particularly the great Hand 
of Lewis and Harries, with its apendages, and 
the adjacent Hand of Sky; which in every cir¬ 
cumstance agree to the description that Diodorus 
Siculus gives of the Hand of the Hyperboreans. 
Let’s mention some of those circumstances. He 

(70) says that the Harp was there in great re- 

, / 

pute, as indeed it is still; every Gentlemen hav¬ 
ing one in his house, besides a multitude of 
Harpers by profession, intertained gratis wherever 
the come. He tells us, that above all other Gods 

(71) they worshipt Apollo ; which, in my first 

Letter, I evidently show they did under the name 


(70) Ton de katoikounton auien tons pleistous einai Kltharistas, Lib, 2» 
yag. 130. 

(71) Ton Apollo raalista ton allon theon par* autois timasthai. Ibid > 



of Belenus (72). He says further, that besides 
a magnificent sacred Grove, Apollo’s remarkable 
Temple (73) there was round, whereof I have 
given a particular description and plan in my 
second Letter (74), it subsisting in great part 
still. He affirms that they had a peculiar Dia¬ 
lect, which in reality continues the same to this 
day; it being Earse, or the sixth among the Cel¬ 
tic Dialects I enumerated in my first Letter : and 
approaching so near to that of the Irish, that 
these and the Ilanders discourse together without 
any difficulty. But, omitting several other mat¬ 
ters no less concordant, he adds, that the Hand 
was frequented of old by the (75) Greecs, and 
in friendship with them; which will be easily 
admitted, after perusing the fourth and fifth Sec¬ 
tions of this present Letter, where I manifestly 
prove this intercourse. I very well know, that 
others, who are far from agreeing among them¬ 
selves, do place the Hyperboreans elsewhere: nor 
am I ignorant that diverse, after the example 
of (76) Antonios Diogenes’s Thulian Romance, 

(72) In the Celtic language Beal and Beax^an. 

(73) Hiiparcheln de kata ten neson temenos te Apollonos megaloprepes, kai 
aaon aksiologoity anathemas! pollois kekosmernsnoity sphairoeide to schematic 


(74) Section XL 


(75) Pros toas Hellenas oikeiotata diakeisthai, &c. Ibid, 

(76) See the last Section, 



have indeavored to divert their readers, no less 
than themselves, with Hyperborean fictions ; and 
so made such variations of site or circumstances, 
as best suited their several plans, to speak no¬ 
thing of such as were grossly t ignorant in Geo¬ 
graphy, Allowances ought to be made for all 
these things. And the Hyperborean continent 
(which was questionless the most northern part 
of Scythia, or of Tartary and Muscovy, stretch¬ 
ing quite to Scandinavia, or Sweden and Nor¬ 
way) this Hyperborean continent, I say, must be 
carefully distinguished from the Hyperborean Hand; 
whose soil was more temperate and fertile, as its 
inhabitants more civilized, harmless, and happy. 
But, to prevent all cavils, I . declare before-hand, 
that as by Thule I mean onely that of Pytheas , 

or Iceland, and not the conjectures or mistakes 


of people that lived long after him; some mak¬ 
ing it to be Ireland, others Schetland, which I 
believe to be the Thule of (77) Tacitus , others 
the northermost part of Great Britain, and others 
other (78) places : so by the Hand of the Hyper¬ 
boreans, I mean that described by Diodorus Sicu¬ 
lus after Hecateus and others, as being an Hand 
in the Ocean beyond (79) Gavle to the north , or 

(77) Insulas, qu s Orcadas vocant, invenit domuitque* 
Bespecta est et Thule, quam hactenus nix et hiems abde- 
hat. hi vita Agric. cap. 10. 

( 78 ) See the Essay concerning the Thule of the Antients, 
by Sir Robert Sibbald. 

(79) — - En tois antiperan tes Keltikefi topois, kata ton 5keanon s 



r m 

under the Bear, where people lived with no less 
simplicity, than indolence and contentment; and 
which Orpheus, or, if you please, Onomacritus , 
very rightly places near the (80) Cronian or Dead 
Sea. ’Tis by this situation, as hereafter more 
particularly marked, that I am willing to be 
judged: showing it also to be an Hand near the 
Scots , whether Hibernian or Albanian; who are, 
by (81) Claudian , made borderers on the Hyper¬ 
borean Sea. From this Hand the Argonauts* after 
touching there coming out of the Cronian Ocean* 
according to Orpheus * sailed to (82) Ireland in 
the Atlantic Ocean ; and so to the (83) Pillars 
of Hercules , where they entered again into the 
Mediterranean (84). No marks can be plainer* 

ejnai ueson, ouk elatto tes Sikelias ; tauten huparcbein men kata tous arktous. 
Lib, 2. pag. 130. 

( 80 ) 

——- Kronionte epikleskousi 
Ponton huperboreen meropes nekrente thulassan. 

Argonaut ver, 1079, 

__ ,—- Scotumque vago mu crone secutus 9 

Fregit Hyperboreas remis audacibus undas . 

De 3 Cons. Honor, ver, 55 S 

(S2) Ankaios d’olakas epistamenos etitaine, 
Par tfara neson ameiben lernida— 

Ibid, ver, 1140. 

(S3) Kuina diapressontes, ana stoma ternesoio 

Hikometha, stelaisi d’ekelsamen Herakleeos. 

Ibid, ver . 1240. 

(84) Now the Straits of Gibraltar .« 



so there is no other Hand, those of Faroe and 
Iceland excepted, but the northwest Brittish Hands, 
between the Crohian and the Atlantic Ocean, as 
every one knows that has once looked into a map; 
which express situation of the Hyperborean Hand, 
together with its being said by Diodorus to ly 
beyond the Gallic regions towards the north, or 
the Bear, the frequent use of the Harp there, 
and the worship of Apollo in a round Temple, 
amounts I think to as full a proof as any thing 
of this nature requires. Diodorus adds, in the 
place where I last quoted him, that the Hyper¬ 
borean City and Temple were always governed 
by the family of the (85) Boreads (86), who 

" V •* 

with no more probability were the descendants of 
Boreas, an imaginary Person or Deity, than the 
Hyperboreans were so called, from being situated 
more northerly than the (87) North-wind: but iu 
reality they were then, as they are still, govern¬ 
ed by their chiefs or heads of tribes, whom they 
called in their own language Boireadhach; that 
is to say, the Great ones, or powerful and vali¬ 
ant men, from Borr, antiently signifying Gran¬ 
deur and (88) Majesty. The Greecs have in a 

(85) Basileueinte tes pojeos tautes, kai tou temenous eparcTiein tous onomaz- 
cmenous Boreadas, apogonous ontas Boraou, kai katagenos aiei diadechasthai ta£ 
archas. Lib. 2. png. 130. 


(86) Boreades* 

(87) Apo ton prossotero keisthai tes borciou prions® Lib. % 

(88) As- for these words Borr and Buireadhach or Boin» 



thousand instances applyed foren Words to the very 
different sense of other words approaching to the 
same sound in their own language. Their first 
sailors into those parts gave the Handers the name 
of Hyperboreans , from their lying so far towards 
the North with respect to the straights of Her¬ 
cules, (89) for which I have indisputable au¬ 
thorities ; and after having once thus stil’d them, 
they greedily catch’d at the allusive sound of their 
Leaders or Magistrates, Grecizing those Grandees, 
or Boireadhach, into Boreades : which was li¬ 
terally understood in Greece of the fabulous des¬ 
cendants of Boreas, very consonantly to their 
Mythology, or, if you will, to their Theology. But 
I noted (90) before, that Plato, in his Cratylus, 
was of (91) opinion the Greecs had borrow'd many 
words from the Barbarians ; especially, adds he, 

adkack “ the vowels a and o being with us most frequently 
put for each other” I might appeal to several authentic 
Manuscripts ; but, because such are not obvious to many, 
I chuse rather to refer my readers to the Seandsan nuadh, 
or printed vocabulary of obsolete words by O CleRy, and 
to Lhoyo’s printed Insh-English Dictionary: so that these 
words are no children of fancy, as but too frequently hap¬ 
pens in Etymologies. From the same root are Borragach 
couragious.and Borrthoradh awe or woyship, with the like, 

(89) Now of Gibraltar. 

(90) Letter II. Section 

(91) Bnno$ gar, hole polia hoi Hellenes cmomata, £.115$ te kai hoi hupo 
tois harharois oikountes, para ton barbaroxi eilephash Inter Qpera p Edit Patfr 
VoL h pag* 409* 



such of the Greecs as liv'd in the Barbarian ter¬ 
ritories : which may be fairly supposed to include 
those who navigated, or that drove any traffic 
among them. And hence the divine Philosopher 
himself draws this accurate (92) inference, “ That 
“ if any man would indeavor to adjust the Ety- 
“ mologies of those words with the Greec lan- 
“ guage, and not rather seek for them in that 
“ to which they originally belong, he must needs 
“ be at a loss." 'Tis farther most deserving 
observation, that Eratosthenes, an antient Chro- 
nologer and Geographer of vast reputation for 
Learning, speaking of Apollo’s famous Arrow > 
with which he slew the Cyclopes, and in honor 
of which one of the Constellations Is so called, 
says that (98) “ he hid it among the Hyper- 
“ boreans, where there is his Temple made of 
“ wings, or a winged Temple,” the words being 
capable of both senses. If the latter was the 
meaning of Eratosthenes, we have already given 
the Description of such a winged Temple, yet 
standing there: and if the former, no place un¬ 
der heaven could furnish more feathers, nor of 
more various kinds, to adorn men or building!, 
than those same Hands; where many of the in¬ 
habitants pay their rent with them, and make a 


(92) Ei tis Zetoi tauta kata ten Helleniken phonen hos eoikotos keitai, al¬ 
ia me kat’ ckeinen ex hes ito ouoma tunchanei on, oistha hoti aporoi an. Ibid . 

(93) Ekrupse de auto (to toksikon) en hupefboreiois, hou kai ho naos ho 
pterinos. In Catastermis , inter Opuscula Mythological et Physica. Edit . Amt, 
pag. 124a 




considerable profit besides. For this reason per¬ 
haps, and not from its promontories, the He of 
Skie is in the language of the natives called 
Scianach , (94) or the winged Hand, whereof the 
English name Skie is an abbreviation or corrup¬ 
tion. Now, if the Hebrides were the Hyperbo¬ 
reans of Diodorus, as I fancy it can scarce 
hereafter be doubted, then the most celebrated 
Abaris was both of that Country and likewise 
a JDruid, having been the (95) Priest of Apollo. 
Suidas, who knew not the distinction of Insular Hy¬ 
perboreans, makes him a Scythian; as do some 
others misled by the same vulgar error, tho’ 
Diodorus has truly fixed his country in the Hand, 
not on the continent. And indeed their fictions 
or blunders are infinite concerning our Abaris . 
This is certain however among them all, that he 

i \ 

travelled quite over (96) Greece, and from thence 
into Italy, where he familiarly conversed with 
Pythagoras ; who fovoured him beyond all his 
Disciples, by imparting his doctrines to him, espe¬ 
cially his thoughts of nature, in a more com¬ 
pendious and plainer method, than to any others, 

(94) Oilean Sciathanach. 

I; > ♦ - t. v • • v, \ '■ 

(95) To men gar hot! ton meron chrusoun epedeiksen Abaridito Huperboreo, 
eikasapti auton Apollona einai ton en Huperboreois, hoaper en hiereus ho A- 
baris, bebaionta hos touto alethes tethrulletai. Porphyrins in vita Pythagoras* 
Eadem s et iisdem epuidem verbis habet Jambiichus , lib . 1. cap. 28^ 

(96) Hos autos ds kai ek ton huperboreon Abarin. eis ten Hellada katan- 

tesanta to palaion. &c. Ubi supra . 


This distinction could not hut highly redound to 
the advantage of Abaris. For, the reasons of 
Pythagoras's backwardness and retention in com¬ 
municating his doctrines, being, in the first place, 
that he might eradicate, if possible, out of the 
minds of his Disciples all vitious and turbulent 
passions, forming them by degrees to a habit of 
virtue, which is the best preparative for receiv¬ 
ing Truth; as, next, to fit them, by a compe¬ 
tent knowlege of the Mathematical Sciences, for 
reasoning with exactness about those higher con¬ 
templations of nature, into which they were to 
be initiated; and, lastly, to have repeated proofs 
of their discretion in concealing such important 
discoveries from the ignorant and the wicked, the 
latter being unworthy, and the former incapable 
of true Philosophy: it follows therefore, that he 
judged Abaris already sufficiently prepared in all 
these respects, and so he obliged him with an 
immediate communication of his most inward sen¬ 
timents; concealed from others under the vail of 
numbers, or of some other enigmatical Symbols.. 
The Hyperborean in return presented the Samian, 
as if he had equalled Apollo himself in Wisdom, 
with the sacred Arrow; riding astride which lie’s 
fabulously reported by the Greec writers, to have 
flown in the air over rivers and lakes, forests 
and mountains: as our vulgar still believe, and 
no where more than in the Hebrides, that wi¬ 
zards and, witches waft whither they please upon ' 




Broom-sticks. But what was hid under this Ro¬ 
mantic expedition, with the true meaning of the 
Arrow it self, the nature of the predictions that 
Abaris spread in Greece, and the doctrines that 
he learnt at Crotona; with the conceit of these 
Hyperboreans that Latona the mother of Apollo, 

was born among them, nay that he was so too, 

♦ / 

and their most exact astronomical cycle of nine¬ 
teen years: these particulars, I say, you’ll read at 
large in my History of the Druids , stript of all 
fable and disguise; as well as a full discussion of 
the Question, about which antient writers are di¬ 
vided, “whether the Druids learnt• their (97) sym- 
“ bolical and enigmatical method of teaching, to- 
« getber with the doctrine of Transmigration from 
“ Pythagoras, or that this Philosopher had borrow- 
“ ed these particulars from the Druids ?” The 
communication between them was easy enough, not 
only by means < of such travellers as Pythagoras 
and Abaris, but also by the nearness of Gaule to 
Italy; tho’ there will still remain another Ques¬ 
tion, viz. whether the Egyptians had not these 
things before either of them; and therefore whe¬ 
ther they did not both receive them from the E- 
gyptians ? 

VIII. Yet before all things we must here exa¬ 
mine what can be offered, with any color, against 

(97) Kai phasi tous men Gumnosopliistas kai Druidas aimgroatodos apopfo* 
iiiengomenous philophesai. Biogen. Laert* in prooem* Sect 

198 , , - THE HISTORY 

.. , — , - -Tn.iwnni i m^ V - n , ** * 7*^^^ _ Mal * c * Kgg ^ _ 

our account of the Hyperborean Hand; after that 
so many circumstances, and particularly the situa¬ 
tion, seem to point demonstratively to the true 
place; nor certainly, when things are duely con¬ 
sidered, will the objections that have been started 
in private conversation, as I know of no other that 

can be publickly made, be found to have the 


least difficulty. Thule or Iceland, rightly placed 
by Claudian „ in the ( 98 ) Hyperborean Climate, be¬ 
sides the incongruities of the soil and the intem¬ 
perateness of the air, is distinguished by Diodorus 
s himself from the Hand in question: and the lies 
of Faroe, being onely a parcel of barren rocks of 
very small extent, without any monuments of anti¬ 
quity, deserve not so much as to be mentioned 
on this occasion. Neither indeed has any of my 
acquaintance insisted on either of these. But Dio - 
dories , says one of them, tho* exactly agreeing to 
your situation or that of Orpheus , and that your 
other circumstances do perfectly tally to his de¬ 
scription : yet is different in this, that he speaks 
onely of one Hand, not less than ( 99 ) Sicily; 
whereas you understand this of several Hands, which 
altogether have scarce that extent. I answer, that 
the marks of the right place which I have mem 

i . . 

( 98 ) ——— Te, quo libet ire, sequemur : 

Te vel Hyperboreo damnataro sidere Thulen, 

Te vel ad facensas Libyae comitabor arenas. 

In Bufin * lib , % 

(99) Ouk elatlo tes Sikelias, Vbi supra . 

- i 




tioned already, and such others as I shall present¬ 
ly alledge, will more than counterbalance any mis- 
take, if there be any, about the bigness of the 
Hand. Travellers and Mariners, who either have 
not been ashore or not staid long enough in any 
place to survey it, are known to speak onely by 
guess, and frequently very much at random. Has 
not Great Britain it self, so much celebrated, as 
Pliny justly (100) writes, by the Greec and Ro¬ 
man authors, been taken to be of vast extent, and 
not certainly known by the Romans to be an 
Hand, till the time (101) of Vespasian ? Endless 
examples of this kind might easily be produced. 

And as for the multitude of those Hands, which 


are separated 'onely by narrow channels, it makes 
nothing at all against me. For, besides that such 
an aggregation of Hands is often taken in com¬ 
mon speech for onely one; as not to go out of our 
own Dominions, such is Schetland, in name one 
country, but in effect consisting of more than 30 
Hands: so there are several indications, joined to 
the Tradition of the Inhabitants, of which see Dr. 
Martin in his Account of Saint Kilda and else¬ 
where, that some of those western Hands have 
been formerly united, and many of them nearer 
each other than at present. However, taking them 
as they now are, Lewis, otherwise call’d the Long 

(100) See Section HI. 

,, x 

v (101) See Section V. 


Hand, being at least a hundred miles in (102) 
length, Side forty, several of the rest above four 
and twenty each, and all appearing as one Hand, 


having many winding bays or inlets, to one who 
sails without them, or that touches onely at some 
of the greatest; considering this, I say, the mis¬ 
take will not be reckoned so enormous in a sailor 
or stranger, if he compares them in the lump to 
Sicily for extent. Another person granting all 
this, objects that Diodorus represents the Hyper¬ 
borean Hand a very (103) temperate region* 
which, according to my friend, cannot be said of 
any place in the northern Latitude of 58 , and 
partly of 59. But whoever has travelled far him- , 
self, or read the Relations of such as have ; will 

be convinced that the seasons in every region of 


the world, do not always answer to their posi¬ 
tion : of which the causes are various, as huge 
ridges of mountains, the neighborhood of vast 
lakes or marshes, winds blowing from places co¬ 
vered with snow, / or the like. Thus Britain and 
Ireland are known, not onely to be much more v 
temperate than the places on the Continent of the 


same position with them, but even than gome of 

(I02)X reckon as Dr. Martin ami the natives do, from 
the most northerly point of Lewis to Bernera south of Bar- 
rah, this string of Hands being onely divided by channels 
mostly fordable : and if it be considered that I make 
use of Scottish miles, every place is at least a third 
part more, according to the English or Italian measure. 

> i 

(103) Ousan d’ apten eugeionte kai pamphoran, eti de eukraaia diapberou- 
dittous kat’ etgs ekpherew karpgus, IJbi &upr#„ 





such as are more southerly; by reason of the 
sault vapors and continual agitations of the sur¬ 
rounding Ocean, which dissolve, allay, and yniti- 
gate the frosts and winds blowing from the Con- 


tinent.-This holds as true with regard to the 

Hebrides, which by experience are allow’d to be 
yet more temperate ; the snow not lying near so 
long as in Britain, and a tepid vapor being very 
sensible there in the midst of winter. This was 
enough to fill the greee sailors with admiration, 
which to us ought to be none ; since their learn¬ 
ed men often spoke of many places, not as they 
actually were in themselves, but as in their specu¬ 
lations they imagin’d they ought to be : without con¬ 
sidering whether there might not occur some of the 
diversifying circumstances we have just now hinted, or 
any others begetting the like influences. But that 
most sagacious interpreter of nature, Hippocrates, 
knew better things, when he taught what he learnt 
by experience, having been an Hander himself, that 
Hands, situated (104) far in the sea, are kindly warm, 
and that no snow can lie on them in winter; while 
such as are near the shore become scarce habitable for 
cold, by reason of the snow and ice remaining on the 
continent, which - from thence transmit bleak winds 
into those Hands. The antients, who judged of places 
where they never were by their bare positions, did 

(104) Ton de neson, hai men engus ton epeiron. duscheimeroterai eisin; 
hai de pontiai, aleinoterai ton cheimona : dioti hai Uiiones kai pag-oi en men 
tesin epeiroisin echousi stasjn, kai ta pneumata psu&ira pempousin es tas engus 
Ta de pelagia ouk echei stasin cn cheimoni. De Diaeta, lib. 2. cap. 3. 

C 2 







consequently enough from thence conclude the torrid 
Zone to be inhabitable: but since this Zone has not 
onely been frequently visited, but is daily penetrated 
to the temperate and cold Zones beyond it, it is not 
onely found every where inhabited ; but those breezes 
and showers, with other causes, that make living 
there very comfortable, are the common themes of 
Philosophers-. This brings me to the last, and seem¬ 
ingly the strongest Objection, viz. that the Hyperbo¬ 
rean Hand of Diodorus , or rather of Hecateus and ci¬ 
thers long before him, was so plentiful as to have 
(105) two crops a year. Yet this expression, upon a 
fair construction, will be so far from embarassing, that 
it will highly illustrate ray explication. It onely*sig¬ 
nifies great plenty and abundance, which I could in¬ 
stance by many passages of the antients; but shall 
chuse the nearest home I can, and that is what (106) 
Virgil says of Italy 

Perpetual spring our happy Climate sees , \ 

Twice breed the cattle , and twice bear the trees ; t 
And summer suns recede by slow degrees . / 

Diiyj>en’s Translation . 

But who is ignorant, that this is not literally true ? 
and as to the plenty meant by it in general, it is cer- 

/ ' ' 1 

(105) Read the Note immediately preceeding, bateing 

Hie ver assiduum, ctque ulienis memibus aestas ; 
Bis gravidae pecudes , bis pomis utilis arbos . 

Georgia. lib. 2* 


( 106 ) 



tain that no country abounds more with the neces¬ 
saries of life* and at less labor or charge, than the 
Hebrides. I shall dwell so much the longer on this 
head, as my History may possibly reach further than 
tne Celtic Nations. Wherefore, in the first place, 
there is known to be in those Hands a prodigious 
plenty of Flesh and Fish. Their cattle of all sorts, 
■as Cows, Sheep, Goats, and Ifngs, are exceeding nu¬ 
merous and prolific: small indeed of size, as are like¬ 
wise their Horses, but of a sweet and delicious taste. 
So are their Deer, which freely range in herds on the 
mountains* No place can compare with this for tame 
and wild fowl, there being of the latter no where in 
the world a greater diversity, many sorts of them ex¬ 
tremely beautiful or rare, and utterly unknown else¬ 
where. The like may be said of their various amphi¬ 
bious animals. Numberless are their fountains and 
springs, rivulets, rivers, and lakes, very wholesom in 
their waters, and every where super-abounding with 
fish, especially the most delicate? as Trout and Sal¬ 
mon ; nor is it by Herrings alone that all Europe 
knows no Seas to be better stored?, nor with more 
kinds, from the shrimp to the- whale; as no harbors 
or bays are superior, whether regard be had to number 
or commodiousness. Add to this their variety of ex¬ 
cellent roots and plants, particularly those of marine 
growth, every one of them serving for food or physic. 
Their pastures are so kindly, that they might live on 
milk alone, with tliat inconceivable quantity of Eggs 
they yearly gather of the desart rocks and Hets. But 



i!esh and fish, milk-meats, eggs, and sallads in the 
greatest abundance, some will be apt to say, are slen¬ 
der and comfortless food without the staff of bread. 
On this assertion, tho’ I might fairly dispute it from 
the practice of whole nations, and the experience of 
particular persons no strangers to me, I will not how¬ 
ever insist; bread, among their other productions, be¬ 
ing plentiful enough a the Hebrides, which some- 

• "V 

times cannot be said of the neighboring Hands. The 
ground is generally allowed to be much richer than 
on the Scottish continent, some parts whereof are not 
seldom supplyed (107) hence with corn : and I- have 
also such proofs of it from Dr. Martin, who, when 
he wrote his Description of those Hands, was far from 
dreaming of the Hyperboreans, as will sufficiently 
justify the expression of Diodorus about their crops or 
harvests. Lewis is very fruitful : and tho’ Barley, 
Oats, and Rye, be the onely grain sown there at pre¬ 
sent ; yet the ground both in that, and in most of the 
other (108) Hands is fit to bear wheat, and conse¬ 
quently Legumes of all sorts. It is truely amazing 
they have any crop at all, considering how unskilful 
they are in Agriculture, how destitute of the properest 
instruments to till the ground, and that they scarce 
use any other manure but sea-wrack or tangles. 
From the ignorance of the inhabitants in these 
respects, as also in planting, inclosing, and drain- 

( 107 ) See Dr. Martin’s Description, page 140, 

(108) Page 53, 337, &c. 


_ _ .... , .... „ 

mg, many fruitful spots ly uncultivated: but the 
abundance of choice Eatables, and namely the most 
nourishing shell-fish of various kinds, with which 
they are richly supplyed by bountiful nature, con¬ 
tributes more than any thing to that Indolence, 
which the antient Greecs esteemed their Happi¬ 

ness. The goodness of the soil appears by no¬ 
thing more evidently, than by the want of cul¬ 

tivation, whereof I have been just complaining. Dr. 

/ _ _ 

Martin, who was an Ey-witness, and strictly ex-' 
amined the fact, affirms (109) that in Bernera, 
near Harris, the produce of Barley is many times 
from twenty to thirty-fold; that in Harries and 
South-Uist (110) one barley-grain sometimes pro¬ 
duces from seven to fourteen ears, as in North- 

East from ten to thirty-fold (111) in a plentiful 
year; that at Corchattan, in Skie, the increase 

(112) amounted once to thirty-five; that if the 
ground be laid down for some time, it gives a 
good (l IS) crop without dunging, some fields not 
having been dunged in forty years; and that he 
was informed a small tract of ground, at Skerry- 

(109) Page 42. 

(110) Ibid. 

(111) Page 53. 

(112) Page 132* 

(113) Page 139, 



breck (114) in the said lie of Skie, had yielded 
a hundred-fold. Nay, I have been told my self 
by a native of that He, that the, people there 

believe they might have two crops a year, if they 
took due pains. For this I beged their pardon, but 
allowed what was tantamount, since the words of 
Diodorus may no less justly be rendered a double 
crop, than two (115) crops, which last however 
is in some respects literally true. For with re¬ 
gard to their pastures, of which somewhat before, 
nothing is more common than for a sheep to 
have two (116) lambs at a time. This not onely 
confirms my construction, and puts me in mind 

of that verse in (in) Virgil\ 

She suckles twins , and twice a day is milled: 

but also of what the so often mentioned Dr. Martin 
relates on this (118) occasion; which is, that be¬ 
sides the ordinary rent a tenant paid, it was a 
custom in the Hands, if any of his cow's or sheep 
brought two young ones at a time, one of them 

was to go to the Landlord : who, on his part* 

(114) Ibid. 

(115 Dittous tarpons. 

(116) Page 108. 

(117) Bis venit ad mulctram, binos alit ubere foetus. 

Eclog. S. ver. 30. 

(118) Page 109. 


was obliged, if any of his tenant’s wives bore 
twins, to take one of them into his own fami¬ 
ly, and that he himself knew a Gentleman, who 
had sixteen of these twins in his house at a 

time. It is no wonder they are populous. Even 

the wild Goats on the Mountains, for such there 
are in Harries, are observed to bring (119) forth 
their young twice a year : all which put toge¬ 
ther, makes the last objection against me to be 

none, and therefore finally justifies my explica¬ 
tion of the passage in Diodorus. From hence ’tis 
evident. My Lord, that those Hands are ca¬ 
pable of great improvement, as they abound like¬ 
wise in many curiosities, especially in Subjects of 
Philosophical observation. Nor is it less plain by 
the many antient Monuments remaining among 
them, and the marks of the plow reaching to 

the very tops of the mountains, which the art¬ 
less inhabitants think incapable of culture, that in 
remote ages they were in a far more flourishing 
condition than at present. The ruins of spacious 
houses, and the numerous Obelises, old Forts, 
Temples, Altars, with the like, which I have de¬ 
scribed (120) before, undeniably prove this: be¬ 
sides that the country was formerly full of woods, 
as appears by the great Oaks and Firr-trees daily 
dug out of the ground, and by many other to¬ 
kens ; there being several small woods and cop- 

(119) Page 35. 

(120) Letter II. Sections Till, IX, X, 



pices still remaining in Skie, Mull , and other 
places. Tfao’ I don’t pretend, no more than Dio¬ 
dorus, that these were the fortunate Hands of 


the Poets, or the Elyzian-fields of the dead, by 
some plac’d in those [121] seas, as by others else¬ 
where ; yet the following lines of [122] of Ho¬ 
race agree to no spot better, than the Hands 
we have been just describing. 

“ —— From lofty hills 

“ With murmuring pace the fountain trills. 

“ There Goats uncall’d return from fruitful vales, 


“ And bring stretch’d dugs to fill the pails. 

“ No bear grins round the fold, no lambs he shakes ; 


No field swells there with poys’nous snakes. 
More we shall wonder on the happy plain : 

“ The watery East descends in rain, 

44 Yet so as to refresh, not drown the fields ; 

44 The temperate glebe full harvest yields. 

, f( No heat annoys : the ruler of the Gods 
i( From plagues secures these blest abodes.” 

Creech’s Translation . 

The Inhabitants, that I may make a complete 
commentary on the passage of Diodorus , are not 
to be mended in the proportion of their persons: 
no preposterous bandages distorting them in the 
cradle, nor hindring nature from duely forming 
their limbs ; which is the reason, that bodily im¬ 
perfections of any sort are very rare among them* 

(121) Videos Annotationem (>3 & 64. 

[122) — *—- ———Montibuf alt is 



Neither does any over-officiously preventive Physic 
in their infancy, spoil their original constitution ; 
whence they have so strong a habit of body, 
that one of them requires treble the dose, as 
will purge any man in the ' south of Scotland. 
But what contributes above all things to their 
health and longevity, is constant Temperance and 
Exercise, As they prefer conveniency to orna¬ 
ment both in their houses and their apparel, 
which last I think not disagreeable, so, in their 
way of eating and drinking, they rather satisfy 
than oppress nature. Their food is commonly fresh, 
and their meals two a day, water being the or- 
dinary drink of the vulgar. They are strangers 
to many of the Distempers, as they are to most 
of the Vices of other nations, for some of which 
they have not so much as a name; and it may 
bo less trueiy be observed of these than of the 
ancient Scythians, that (123) the ignorance of 

Levis crepante lympha desilit pede. 
lilic injussae veniunt ad mulctra capellae , 

Refertque tenia grex amicus ubera. 

Nec vespertinus circumgemit ursus ovile , 

Nec intumescit alia viperis humus . 

Pluraque fdices mirabimur: ut neque largis 
Aquosus Eurus arva radat imbribus 9 
Pinguia nec sleds urantur semina glebis; 
Utrumque Rege temperante Coelitum. 

Epod. 16. ver. 47* 

U23) Tan to plus in iliis proficit vitiorum ignoratio, 
tqn'm in his (Graecis nimirum) cognitio virtutis. Justin. 

Hist* lib • 2. cap^2, 

D 2 



r sesrssfoa. 

Tices has had a better effect upon them, than 
the knowledge of Philosophy upon politer nations. 
They owe every thing to nature. They cure all 
disorders of the body by .simples of their own 
growth, and by proper diet or labor. Hence they 
are stout and active, dextrous in all their exer¬ 
cises ; as they are withall remarkably sagacious, 
choleric but easily appeazed, sociable, good natur- 
ed, ever cheerful, and having a strong inclination 
to Music : all which particulars, with the other 
parts of their past and present character, I have 
not onely learnt from the concurrent testimonies 
of several judicious authors; but also from the 
intimate knowledge I have had my self of many j 
Scores of the natives as well in Scotland as else¬ 
where. They are hospitable beyond expression, 
intertaining all strangers of what condition soever 
gratis; the use of mony being- still in some of 
those Hands unknown, and till a few ages , past 
jn all of them. They have no Lawyers or At¬ 
torneys : which, no more than several other par¬ 
ticulars here specified, I do not understand of 
the Highlanders on the continent; tho’ speaking 
the same language, and wearing the same dress 
with them. The men and women plead their 
own causes; and a very speedy decision is made 
by the Proprietor, who’s Perpetual president in 
their courts, or by his Bailiff as his substitute. 
In a word, ' they are equally void of the two 
chief plagues of Mankind, Luxury and Ambition ; 




which consequently frees them from all those rest¬ 
less pursuits* consuming toils* and never-failing' 
vexations* that men suffer elsewhere for those airy* 
trifling* shortlived vanities. Their contempt of 
superfluities is falsly reckoned Poverty* since their 
felicity consists not in having much* but in co** 
voting little; and that he’s supremely rich* who 
wants no more than he has i for as they* who 
live according to nature* will never be poor; so 
they* who live according to opinion* will never 
be rich. It is certain that no body wants* what 

* x 

he does not desire: and how much easier is it 
not to desire certain things, than otherwise ? as 
it is far more healthy and happy to want, than 
to injoy them. Neither is their ignorance of vices 
in these Hands any diminution to their virtue, 
since, not being by their situation concerned in 
any of the disputes about dominion or commerce, 
that distract the world, they are not onely rigid 
observers of Justice, but show less propensity than 
any People to tumults; except what they may 
be unwarily led into by the extraordinary defe¬ 
rence they pay to the opinion of their Chiefs 
and Leaders, who are accountable for the mis* 
chiefs they sometimes bring, as at this very (124) 
time, on these well-meaning Hyperboreans , For 
Hyperboreans I will now presume to call them, 
and withall to claim Maris as a Philosopher of 

(124) U19. 




the Brittish world, which has principally occasion¬ 
ed this Digression; on that account not improper, 
nor, I hope, altogether useless in other respects* 
Be this as your Lordship shall think fit to judge, 
I will not finish it before I have acquainted you 
with an odd custom or two, that have from- 
time immemorial obtained in Barra and the lesser 
circumjacent Hands, which are the property of 
Mac-neil.. The present is the thirty fifth Lord 
of Barra by uninterrupted lineal descent, a thing 
whereof no Prince in the world can boast: and 
he is regarded, you may imagine, as no mean 
potentate by Ms subjects, who know none great¬ 
er than he. (125) When the wife of any &f’em 
dies, he has immediate recourse- to his Lord, re¬ 
presenting first his own loss' in the- want of a 
meet help; and next that of Mac-neil himself, 
if fie should not go on to beget followers for 
him. Hereupon Mac-neil finds out a saleable 
match, neither side ever disliking; his- choice,, but 
accepting it as the highest favor, and the mar¬ 
riage is celebrated without any courtship, portion 
or dowry. But they never fill to make merry 
on such occasions with a bottle or more of Us- 
quebah. On the other hand, (126j when any wo¬ 
man becomes a widdow, she is upon the like ap¬ 
plication soon provided with, a husband, and with 

(125) Martin* page 97. 

( 126 ) Ibid 



as little ceremony.. Whoever may dislike this Hy¬ 
perborean manner of- preventing delay, disdain, or 
disappointment, yet lie cannot but approve Mac- 
heil’s ' conduct, in supplying (127) any of his. 
tenants with as many Milch-cows* as he may 
chance to lose. by the severity of the weather, 
or by other misfortunes; which is not the less 
true charity, for being good policy. ■ Most worthy 
likewise of imitation is his taking into his own 
family, building a house hard by on purpose for 

them, and maintaining to the day of their death, 

/ _ 

as many old men, as* thro" age or infirmity, (128) 
become unfit for labor. But I should never have 
done, if I preceded with the particular usages of 
the North and West Handers. Several of them, 
retained from the remotest times of. the* Druids, 
are explained in this and the preceding* Letters. 
Yet one custom, very singular, I cannot help re¬ 
lating here, tho’ long since grown obsolete or 
lather that it has been in disuse, ever since their 
conversion to Christianity. When a man had .a 
mind to have a wife, (3 29) as soon as he gain’d 
the consent of the maid he lik’d, he took her to 
his bed and board for a whole year; and if, up¬ 
on thus coming thoroughly acquainted with the 


(127) Ibid. 

(128) .Page 98. 

(129) 'Page 114. 





3'«Tg».t«saaiM H>ij a iMM Ba3M^i&W3rai5SBaffi.i i 3Bnaam r i r ii t»H i ra i8£g£a>a^ g 

— T < mmi. ■■m. l »f.«—~~ ” », — ... ■ i. 

conditions both of her mind and body, he kept 
her any longer, she then became his wife all her 
days ; but if he dislik’d her to such a degree on 
any account, as to be persuaded she shou’d not 
make him easy during life, he return’d her (with 
her portion, if she had any) at the twelve months 
end to her parents or guardians; legitimating the 
children, and maintaining them at his own charge 
in case there were such. Nor was this repudia¬ 
tion any dishonor or disadvantage to the young 
woman in the eyes of another man, who thought 
she would make him a better wife, or that he 
might to her be a better husband It was a 
custom, I must own, like to prevent a world of 
unhappy matches: but, according to our modern 
ideas, it is not onely unlawful, but also barbar¬ 



IX. To return whence I digressed, having thus 
happily discovered and asserted the country of 
Aharis, and also his profession of a Druid ; I shall 
give here some account of his person, referring 
to another place the History of his adventures. 
The Orator Himerius, tho’ one of those, who, 
from the equivocal sense of the word Hyperbo¬ 
rean, seems to have mistaken him for a Scythian ; 
yet accurately describes his person, and gives him 
a very noble character. That he spoke Greek 
with so much facility and elegance, will be no 
matter of wonder to such as consider the antient 
intercourse, which we have already prov’d between 



the Greecs and the Hyperboreans: nor would the 
latter, to be sure, send any ambassador, as we’ll see 
presently they did Abaris , to the former, unless, a- 
mong the other requisite qualifications, he perfectly un¬ 
derstood their language. But let’s harken a while to 
Himerius . “ They relate, (says he,) that Abaris the 
<6 Sage was by nation a Hyperborean, become a Gre- 
u cian in speech, and resembling a Scythian in his habit 
and appearance. Whenever he moved his ton- 
€i gue, you would imagine him to be some one 
out of the midst of the Academy or very Ly- 
ceum” (130). Now that his habit was not that 
of a Scythian ever covered with skins, but what 
lias been in all ages, as generally at this pre¬ 
sent, worn in the Hebrides and the neighboring 
Highlands, it needs onely to be described for re¬ 
moving all doubts and scruples. “ Abaris came > 

to Athens, continues (131) Himerius , holding 
« a bow, having a quiver hanging from his 
“ shoulders, his body wrapt up in a plad, girt 
« about his loins with a gilded belt, and wear- 
« i n g trowzers reaching from the soles of his 
« feet to his waste.” A gun and pistol, being 

of modem date, could make no part of his equi- 

(130) Abarin men s&phon genos men Kuperboreion legousin, Hellena de 
pbonen gegenesthai, kai Skuthen men achri stoles de kai schematos. Ei de 
pou glottan kineseie, touto ekeinon ek meses Akademias kai autou Lukeion no- 
mizesthai. Ex 0rations ad Ursicium apud Fhotium in Biblioth. csd 24-3. edit, 

Jiothomag ■, pag. 1135. 

(131) Heken Abaris Athenaze toxd ech5n, pliaretran hemmenos eis omon, 
cblamudi sphingoraenos : Zone tin kaC iksuon chruse, anaxuiiaes cx taisdn 
akron achri kai glouton anateinousai. Id. ibid • 



page: and you see he did not make his entry in¬ 
to Athens ridding on a broom-stick, as faboulous- 
ly reported, but in the native garb of an abo¬ 
riginal Scot. As -for what regards his abilities,, 
it was impossible for his principals to have made 
a better choice; since we are informed by the 

came (132) Himerius , that “ he was affable and 


“ pleasant in conversation, in dispatching great 
“ affairs secret and industrious, quicksighted in 
“ present exigences, in preventing future dangers 
“ circumspect, a searcher after wisdom, desirous 
“ of friendship, trusting indeed little to fortune, 


“ and having every thing trusted to him for his 
“ prudence.” Neither the Academy nor the Ly¬ 
ceum could furnish out a man with fitter quali¬ 
ties, to go so farr abroad and to such wise na¬ 
tions, about affairs no less arduous than impor¬ 
tant. But if we attentively consider his modera¬ 
tion in eating, drinking, and the use of all those 
things, which our natural appetites incessantly 
crave; adding the candor and simplicity of his 
manners, with the solidity and wisdom of his an¬ 
swers, all which well find sufficiently attested, it 
must be owned, that the world at that time had 
few to compare with Abaris. 

Thus I have laid before your Lordship a Spe¬ 
cimen of my History of the Druids. Give me 



(132) En hedus entuchein, deinos hesuche meg-alen praxin ergasasthai, ox- 
tis to paron idein, promethes to mellon phulattesthai, sophias hetton^ erastes 
pliilias, oliga men tuche pisteuon, gnome de ta panta pistoumenos. Id • ibid*. 



leave to send you with this Letter two small 
Pieces which I don’t doubt will be agreeable to 

you. One is Mr. Jones’s Answer' to Mr. Tate’s 


Questions about the Druids, and the. other British 
Antiquities, which I transcribed from a Manuscript 
in the Cotton Library (133); and the other, some 
Collections mentioned in one of my Letters (134), 
shewing the Affinity between the Armoric and 
Irish Language, 

I am* 

My Loss, 

Your Lordship’s 
most oblig’d, 

very humble Servant. 

April 18. 1 
1719 . ) 

i i <Q o t 

ViteL E« t\ 6o 

Letter II Sect, 18. p&g. 11& 

Mr. TATE’s 







Mr* JONES’s- 

,* \ 



h Y what names were they call’d by the Brittons* 
which the Latins call Druidea or Druides f 

II. Whether the Druids and Elamens were all one, 
and the difference between them ? how the Elamens- 
were called in Brittish,.and their antiquity and habits ? 

III. What degrees were given to the Professors of 
Learning ? when, where, and by. whom, and their ha¬ 
bits or apparel ? 

IV. Whether the Barth had any office in war ans¬ 
wering our Heralds ? their garments and enseigns ? 



and whether'they used the Caduceus ? many fetching 

The original thereof from the Britton’s charming of ser- 



V. What Judges and Lawyers had the Brittons 
that follow’d the King? and what are Tri anhepcor 
Brenhin , and their use ? 

VI. What Judges' and Lawyers were their resident 
in the country ? their number ? what Judges were 
there per dignitatem Terrae ? and what their-duty ? - 
and how were they assembl’d to do the same ? 

VII. It appeareth there were 'always many Kings 
and Princes in this Realm before the coming in of the 
Saxons : were their countries divided into Tulaiths , 
as all between Severn and the Sea was ' after their 


coming ? 

VIII. Was there any division into Shires before the 
Saxon’s coming, and what difference betwixt a Shire 
and a Swydll f There were anciently with you 
Maenors, Commods , Cantretks, answerable whereunto 
are our Slanors, Bythings, Hundreds. And that mak- 
eth me to eccline that Swydh shoudbe like oui Sniic, 
as Swyd ccler Bhyrdin, Sivyd Amwythig, Swyd caer 
Wranvon : and the General Officers of them were call- 

. ed Swydogion, under whom were Maer, Gnghellawr, 
Jihinghill, Ophiriat, and Brawdur trwyr Swyd, except 
all bear the name of Swydogion. I find in ancient 
Book of Landaff Giuiguis or Glivisus King of Deme- 
tia' (which of this King' is call’d Glenguissig) of whom 


it is said septem pagos rexit, whereof Glamorgan, now 
a Shire, was one ; and pagus is us’d for a Shire. 

IX, Whether the Britons had Noblemen bearing 
the name of Duces, Comites, Barones ? and what they 
were called in Brittish ?—In the Boqk of Landaff I 
find it thus written, “ Gandeleius Rex totam regionem 
“ suam Cadoco filio suo commendavit, privilegiumque 
« concessit, quatenns a fonts Faennun haen donee ad 
“ ingressum fluminis Nadavan pervenitur, omnes SU - 
et ges et Comites, Optimates, Tribuni, atque domestic 

“ ci in Coenobij sui coemeterto de Lancarvan sepeli- 

\ ■ 

antur.” And K. E. I. enquiring of the Laws of the 
Britons, demandeth how the Welsh Barons did adminis¬ 
ter justice, and so djstinguisht them from Lords Mar¬ 

— »* 

X. What is the significatio.ii of the "word Assach f 
A statute of King Henry VI, saith, some offer’d to ex^ 
cuse themselves by an Assach after the custom of 
Wales ; that is to say, by an oath of thirty men. 


XI. What officer is he that in the Laws of Uowel 
Da is called Distein, and the signification of the word ? 

XII. What do you think of this place of Petrus 
Ramus in" his Book de moribus velerum Gallorum : 
Hae civitates Brutos suos habebant. Sic a Caesare no - 
mirlantur Senatus Elmronicum, Lexobiormn, Venetorum. 
Was there any Counsil or Senate in the Brittish Go- 
gernment, and by what name were they call’d ? 

Mi\ Jones's Answers to Mr. Tale's 

Questions , 

J O to the first I say, that Druides or Druidae is a 
wor$ that is derived from the Brittish word Drudion ; 
being the name of certain wise, discreet, learned, 
and religious Persons among the Brittons. Druidon 
is the plural number of this primitive word Drud. By 
adding ion to the singular number, you make the 
plural of it secundum for mam Britannorum ; sic Drud, 
Drudion . r l his primitive word Drud has many signi- 
locations. One signification is Dialwr, that is a reven¬ 
ger, or cue that redresseth wrong : for so the Justicers 
call’d Drudion did supply the place of Magistrates. 
Another signification Krevlon, and that signifies cruel 
and merciless; for they did execute justice most righte¬ 
ously, and punisht offenders most severely. Drud sig¬ 
nifies also glew and prid, that is, valiant or hardy, 
Drud is also dear or precious, unde venit Drudanieth, 
which is Dearth, These Drudion among the Brittons 
by their office did determine all kind of matters as well 
private as publick, and were Justicers as well in religi¬ 
ous matters and controversies, as in Law matters and 
controversies, for offences of death and title of Laws, 
These did the sacrifices to the Heathen Gods, and the 
sacrifices cou’d not be made without them, and they 
did. forbid sacrifices to be done by any man that, did 
net obey their decree and sentence. All the Arts, 



Sciences, Learning, Philosophy, and Divinity that was 
taught in the land, was taught by them ; and they 
taught by memory, and never wou'd that their know¬ 
ledge and learning shou’d be put in writing: whereby 
when they were supprest by the Emperor of Rome in 
the beginning of Christianity, their Learning, Arts, 
Laws, Sacrifices, and Governments were lost and ex- 
tinguisht here in this land; so that I can find no more 
mention of any of their deeds in our tongue than I 
have set down, but that they dwelled in rocks, and 
woods, and dark places, and some places in our land, 
bad their names from them, and are called after their 
names to this day. And the Hand of Mone or Angle- 
sea is taken to be one of their chiefest seats in Britain, 
because it was a solitary Hand full of wood, and not 
inhabited of any but themselves; and then the He of 
Mone, which is called Anglesea, was called yr Inys 


'Down'll., that is, the Dark Hand. And after that the 
Drudion were supprest, the huge groves which they 
favor’d and kept a-foot, were rooted up,and that ground 
till’d. Then that Hand did. yield such abundance and 
plenty of corn, that it might sustain and keep all 
Wales with bread ; and therefore there arose then a 
Proverb, and yet is to this day, viz. Mon mam Gymbrv, 
that is, Mon the mother of Wales. Some do term the 
proverb thus, Mon mam Gynedd, that is, Mon the 
mother of North-wales, that is, that Mon was able to 
nourish and foster upon bread all Wales or North- 
Wales. And after that this Dark Hand had cast out 
for many years such abundance of corn, where the dis- 



4&mMmB5 s® B SS SS & S ^ i n ’T rr-n- r r ■ ■. MV ,_.^ ^ . _ 

■ ■ •* — - - - n--r-, —,— y ' rt '~‘' , , , _ 

closed woods and groves were, it surceased to yield 
com, and yielded such plenty of grass for cattle, that 
the Countrymen left off their great tilling, and turned it 
to grazing* and breeding ot cattle, and that did continue 
among them wonderful plentiful, so that it was an. 
admirable thing to be heard, how so- little a plat of' 
ground shou’d breed such great number of cattle ; and 
bow the inhabitants do till a great part of it, and 
breed a great number of cattle on. t’other part. 

Iff As for the second Question, I do refer the ex¬ 
position of it to those that have written of the Flamens 
in Latine. The Drudion in. Britain,, according to their 
manner and custom, did execute the office and function 
of the Flamens beyond the sea : and as for their ha¬ 
bits* I cannot well tell you how, nor what manner 
they were off 

III, To the third Question : there were four sever¬ 
al kinds of Degrees, that were given to the Professors 
of Learning,, The first was, Disgihliyshas , and that 
was given a man after three years studying in the art 
of Poetry and Musick, if he by his capacity did deserve 
it. The second degree was Disgibldisgyblxaidd, and 
that was given to the Profeffor of Learning after six. 
years studying, if he did deserve it. The third degree was 
Di s gibxpenkeeddIAIDO ; and that was given to the 
Prosessar of Learning after nine years studying, if he 
deserve it,.. And the fourth degree, was Penkerdd or 
Athro , and Athro is the highest degree of Learning a- 
jnong us,,, and iff Latine is called Doctor, All these- 


yg»: « g ?s 


degrees were given to men of Learning as well Poets 
as Musicians. All these foresaid degrees of Learning 
were given by the King, or in his presence in his Pa¬ 
lace, at every three years end, or by his License from 
him in some fit place thereunto (appointed) upon an 
open disputation had before the King or his Deputy in 
that behalf, and then they were to have their reward 
according to their degrees. Also there were three kinds 
of Poets. The one was Prududd: the other was 
Tevluwr : the third was Klerwr. These three kinds 
had three' several matters to treat of. The Prududd 
was to treat of Lands* and the praise of Princes, No¬ 
bles, and Gentlemen, and had his circuit among them. 
The Tevluwr did treat of merry jests, and domestical 
pastimes and affairs, having his circuit among the 
Countrymen, and his reward according to his calling. 
The Clerwr did treat of invective and rustical Poetry, 
differing from the Prududd and Tevluwr ; and his cir- 

cult was among the Yeomen of the Country. As for 
their habits, they were certain long apparel down to 
the calf of their leggs or somewhat lower, and were of 

diverse colours. 

IV. To the fourth Question, I say, the Bard was 3 
Herald to record all the acts of the Princes and Nobles, 
and to give arms according to deserts. They were al¬ 
so Poets, and cou’d prognosticate certain things, and 
gave them out in metre. And further, there were three 
kinds of Beirdd (the plural of Bardd), viz. Privardd, 
Poswardd, Arwyddyardd, T]ie Priveirdd (plurally,)? 

' ■ OF THE DRUIDS. 225 

were Merlin Silvester, Merlin Ambrosius, and Talies- 
sin ; and the reason they were call’d Priveirdd was, 
because they invented and taught such Philosophy and 
other Learning as were never read or heard of by any 
xnan before. The interpretation of this word Pri¬ 
vardd is Prince, or first learner, or learned man : for 
Bardd %vas an appelation of ail learned men, and pro¬ 
fessors of Learning, and Prophets, as also were attri¬ 
buted to them the titles of Privardd, Posvardd, and 
Arwyddvard. Bardd Telyn, And they call Merlin 
Arnbrosius by the name of Bardd Gortheyrn, that is, 
Vortiger’s Philosopher, or Learned man, or Prophesyer. 
Bardd Telvn is he that is Doctor of the Musicians of 
the Harp, and is the chief harp in the Land, having his 
abode in the King’s palace : and note no man may be 
called Privardd, but he that inventeth such Learning, 
and Ails, or Science, as were never taught before. 
The second kind of Bardd is Posvardd, and those 
Fosveirdd were afterwards Prydiddion : for they did 
imitate and teacli what the Priveirdd had set forth, 
and must take their author from one of them ; for 
they themselves are no Authors, but registers and pro¬ 
pagators of the Learning invented by the others. The 
third kind is Arwyddvard, that is by interpretation an 
Ensign-bard, and indeed is a Herald at Arms ; and 
his duty was to declare the Genealogy and to blazon 
the Arms of Nobles and Princes, and to keep the re¬ 
cord of them, and to alter their Arms according to their 
dignity or deserts. These were with the kings and 
Princes in all battles and actions. As for their Gar- 


merits, 1 think they were long, such as the Prgdiddion 
had ; for they challenge the name of Beirdd ut supra . 
Whereas some writers, and for the most part all fore- 
ners that mention the Beirdd, do write that Bard has 
his name given him from one Bardus, who was the 
first inventor of Barddonieth, and some say he was 
the fourth King of Brittain ; I say it is a most false, 
erroneous, and fabulous surmise of foren writers, for 
there never was any of that name either a king or 
a King’s son of Brittain. But there was a great Scho¬ 
lar and Inventor both of Poetical verses and musical 
Lessons that was some time King of Brittain. His 
name was Blegywryd ap Geisyllt, and he was the fif¬ 
ty-sixth supreme king of Great Brittain, and dy’d in 
the 2067th year after the deluge, of whom it is writ¬ 
ten that he was the famousest Musican that ever lived 
in Britain. No writer can show that Bard had his 
name from Bardus, it being a primitive Brittish word 
that has the foresayd significations. And Barddonieth 
(which Is the art, function, and profession of the 


Bardd) is also used for Prophesy and the interpreta¬ 
tion thereof, and also for all kinds of Learning a- 
rnong us that the Beirdd were authors of. 

V. As for the fifth Question, the King had always 
a chief Judge resident in his Court, ready to decide 
all controversies that then happen’d, and he was call¬ 
ed Egnat Llys . He had some privilege given him by 
the King’s houshold officers, and therefore he was 
to determine their causes gratis. As for the tri anheb- 




kor brcnin, I think it superfluous to treat of them here, 
seeing you have this matter in my Book of Laws 
more perfect than I can remember it at this time. 
Lopk in the Table among the trioedd kyfraith, and 
those are set down in two or three several places of 
the-Book. And if you cannot find it there, see in the 
office of Egnat Llys , or Pen levin, or yjfeiriaid llys , 
and you’ll be sure to find it in some of those places. I 
do not find it in my Book of Laws, that-there were 
any officers for* the-Law that did dwell in the King’s 
Palace, but onely his Egnat Llys, that was, of any 
name, or-bore any great office- : for he was ope of the 
tri anhehkor brenin . 

YI, As for the sixth Question, I that, there 
were resident in the Country but Egnat. Qomot, that 

I can understand. But when an Assembly met to¬ 
gether for the title of Lands, then the King in his 
own Person came upon the Land.; and if he could not 
come, he appointed some Deputy for him.. There 
came with the King fas chief .Judge, , and culled unto 

him his Egnat Komot, or County-Judge, together 
with some of his Council that dwelt in the Komot, 
where the Lands lay that were in the controversy, and 
the Free-holders also of the-same Place, and tnerc 
came a Priest or Prelate, two Counsellors, and two 
Jlhing'dl or Serjeants, and two Champions, one for the 
Plaintiff and another for the Defendant ; and when 

all these were assembled together, the King or Ins 
Deputy viewed the Land, and when they had viewed 




i-mmaimrn -■ff.-y.a !■— Il||| 


it 5 they caused a round Mount to be cast up, and up¬ 
on the same was the Judgment-Soat placed, having his 
back toward the Sun or the Weather. Some of these 
Mounts were made square and some round, and both 
round and square bore the name of Gorseddevy dadle , 

that is, the Mount of Pleading. Some also have the 


name of him that was chief Judge or Deputy to the 
King in that judicial Seat; and it was not lawful to 
make an assembly no where for title of Lands, but up- 


on the Lands that were in controversy. These Gor- 


sedde are in our Country, and many other places to 
be seen to this day ; and will be ever, if they be not 
taken down by men’s hands. They had two sorts of 
Witnesses, the one was Gwybyddyeid, and the other 
Amhiniogev. The Gwybyddyeid were such men as 
were born in the Komot, where the Lands that were 
in controversy lay, and of their own perfect knowledge 
did know that it was the Defendant’s right. And 
Amhiniogev were such men as had their Lands meal¬ 
ing on the Lands that were in controversy, and hem¬ 
med upon that Land. And the Oath of one of those 
Amhiniogev, otherwise called Keidweid, was better 
than the Oath of twain that were but Gwybyddyeid. 
Look in the Table of my Book of Laws for the de- 
finitionof Keidweid, Amhiniogev, andGwYBYDDYEiD, 
and how the king did try his Causes ; and that will 
manifest it more at large. The Mayer and the 

Kangeilawr had no authority amongst the Brittens for 
any lands but the king’s lands ; and they were to set 
it and let it, and to have their circuit amongst the 




king’s tenants; and they did decide all Controversies 
that happened amongst them. Vide in the Table of 
my Book of Laws for the Definition of Mayer and 
Kancrellctwr • 

VII. To the seventh Question, I say that there 
were in this land about a hundred superial Kings , that 
governed this land successively : that were of the 
Brittish blood : yet notwithstanding there were un¬ 
der them divers other Princes that had the name of 
kings, and did serve, obey, and belong to the superial 
king, as the king of Alban or Prydyn or Scotland, the 
king of Kymhery or Wales, the king of Gwneydd, or 
Venedotia. Yet notwithstanding the same law and 
government was used in every Prince or king’s domi¬ 
nion, as was in the superial king’s proper dominion ; 
unless it were that some Custom or Privilege did be¬ 
long to some place of the kingdom more than to an¬ 
other : and every inferior king was to execute the 
Law upon all transgressors that offended in their do¬ 

In the time of Kassibelanus there arose some con¬ 
troversy between the superial king Kaswallawne and 
Ararwy king of London, one of his inferior kings, a- 
bout a murther committed. The case is thus. The 
superial King keeping his Court within the dominion 
of one of the inferior Kings, a controversy falling be¬ 
tween twain within the Court, and there and then one 
was slain, the Question is, Whether the murtherer 
ought to be tried by the officers and privilege of the 




superior King, or of the inferior King. I think that 
the mui there r ought to be tried by the Law and Cus¬ 
tom of the inferior king’s Court, because it is more 

seemly that the superior king’s Court, which did in- 


dure in that Country but a week or twain, or suck like 
time, should lose his privilege there for that time, than 
the inferior king’s Court should lose it for ever. Vide 
in libro meo de legibus. It may seem to those that 
have judgement in histories, that this was the very 
cause that Ararwy would not have his kinsman tried 
by the Judges and Laws or privilege of Kaswallawne, 
whose Court did remain in the dominion of Ararwy 
but a little while, but would have the felon tried by 
his Judges and his Court. There is no mention made 
of Talaith. any where amongst the Brittons before the 
destruction of Brittain, but that there were in Brittain 
but one superial Crown and three Talaith or Coronets 
or Prince’s Crowns; osje for the Alban, another for 
Wales, and the third for Kerniw or Kornwale. There 
were divers others called kings which never wore any 
Crown or Coronet, as the kings of Dyved in South 
Wales, the king of Kredigion , and such, and yet were 
called kings, and their Countries were divided as. you 
shall see in the next Question. 

\ a \ % 

/ > A.. . 

VIII. To the eighth Question,. I say, that accord¬ 
ing to the primitive Law of this Land? that Dyfnwal 
Moel Mvd made, for before the Laws of Dyfnwal 
Moel Mvd the Trojan laws and customs were used in 
this Land, and we cannot tell w hat division of Lands 



they had* nor what officers but the D?'uidion, he divid¬ 
ed all this Land according to this maimer, thus: Tri- 
hud y gronin haidd, or thrice the length of one Barley 
Cora maketh a Modvedd or inch, three Modvedd or 
Inches maketh a Palf or a Palm of the hand, three 
Paf or Palm maketh a Troedvedd or foot, three feete 
or Troedvedd maketh a Kam or Pace or a stride, three 
Kam or strides to the Naid or leape, three Naid or 
leape to the Grwmg, that is, the breadth of a Butt of 
Land or Tir ; and mil of those Tir maketh Miltir , 

that is, a thousand Tir or mile. And that was his 

/ , 

measure for length which hath been used from that 
time to this day; and yet, and for superficial measur¬ 
ing he made three hud gronin haidd, or Barley Com 
length, to the Modvedd, or Inch, three Modvedd or 
Inch to the Palf or hand breadth, three Palf to the 
Troedvedd or foot, four Troedvedd or foot to the fer- 
iav or the short yoke, eight Troedvedd or foot to the 
Neidiav , and twelve Troedvedd or foot in the Gessti - 
liav and sixteen Troedvedd in the Hiriav. Anu a 
Pole or Rod so long, that is sixteen foot long, is the 
breadth of an Acre of Land, and thirty Poles or Rods 
that length, is the length of at r-Mrw or Acre by the 
Law, and four Erw or Acre maketh a Tyddyn or 
Messuage, and four of that Tyddyn or Messuage 
maketh a Rhandir, and four of those Rhandiredd 
maketh a Gafel or Tenement or Hoult, and four Ga- 
- fel maketh a Tref or Township, and four Tref or 
Townships maketh a Maenol or Maenor, and 
twelve Maenol or Maenor and dwy dref or two Town- 




ships makcth a Kwmwd or Gomot, and two Rwmwd 
or Gomot maketh a Kantref or Cantred, that is a 
hundred Towns or Townships. And by this reckon¬ 
ing every Tyddyn containeth four Erw, every Rlian- 
dir containeth sixteen Er w r and every Gafel contain¬ 
eth sixty-four Erw. Every Town or Township 
* containeth two hundred fifty-six Erw or Acres* 
these Erws being fertile arable land, and neither 
meadow nor pasture nor woods. For there was no¬ 
thing measured but fertil arable ground, and all ou¬ 
tliers were termed wastes* Every Maenol containeth 
four of these Townships, and every Kwmwd contain¬ 
eth fifty of these Townships, and every Cantred a 
hundred of these Townships, whereof it hath its name. 
And all the Countries and Lords dominions were di¬ 
vided by Cantreds or Cantre, and to every of these 
Cantreds, GomotSj Maenqrs, Towns,, Gafees- were 
given some proper names. And Gwlad or Country 
was the dominion of one Lord or Prince, whether the 
Gwlad were one Cantred or two, or three or four, or 
more. So that when I say he is gone from Gwlad to 
Gwlad,. that is, from Countrey to Countrey, it is meant 
that he is gone from one Lord or Prince’s dominion to 
another Prince’s dominion; as for example, when a man 

v — ( 

committeth an offence in Gwynedd or Northwales, 
which containeth ten Cantreds, and fleeth or goetli 
to Powys, which is the name of another Country and 
Prince’s dominion, which containeth ten otheivCAN- 
treds, he is gone from one Country or dominion to 
another, and the Law cannot be executed upon him. 



for he is gone out of the Country. Tegings is a Count¬ 
ry and containeth but one Cantred, and Dyfrvn Glwyd 
was a Country, and did contain but one Cantred. 
And when any did go out of Tegings to Dyfrvn Glwyd, 
for to flee from the law, he went out from one Count¬ 
ry to another. And so every Prince or Lord’s domi¬ 
nion was Gwlad or Country to that Lord or Prince, 
so that Gwlad is Pagus in my judgment. Some¬ 
times a Cantred doth contain two Comot, sometimes 
three, or four, or five ; as the Cantrefe of Glamorgan 
or Morganwg containeth five Comots. And after that 
the Normans had won some parts of the Country, as 
one Loi'd’s dominion, they constituted in that same 
place a Senescal or Steward, and that was called in 
the Brittish tongue Swyddog, that is an Officer; and 
the Lordship that he was Steward of was called Swydd 
or Office, and of these Swyddev were made Shires. 
And Gwydd is an Office be it great or small, and Swyd¬ 
dog is an Officer likewise of all states ; as a Sheriff is 
a Swyddog, his Sheriff-ship or Office, and the Shire 
whereof he is Sheriff, is called Swydd. So that 
Swydd doth contain as well the Shire as the Office of 
a Sheriff, as Swydd Amwythig is the Shire or Office 
of the Steward, Senescal, or Sheriff of Salop, &c. 

IX. As for the ninth Question, The greatest and 
highest degree was Brenin, or Teyen, that is, a king; 
and next to him was a Twysog, that is a Duke; and 
next to him was a Jarll, that is an Earl; and next to 
him was an Arglwydd , that is a Lord ; and next to him 
was a Barwn, and that I lead least of And next to 

G 2 



that is the Breir or Ychelwr , w hioh ropy he railed the 
Squire r next to this is a Gwrearige , that is a Yeoman ; 
and next to that is an Aitind; and next to that a Kaetk § 
which is a Slave 0 , and that is the meanest amongst 
these nine several Degrees. And these nine Degrees 
had three several 5 tenures of Lands, as Maerdir , Vche - 
lordir , Priodordir. There he also other names and 
degrees, which be gotten by birth, by office and by dig¬ 
nity ; but they all are contained, under the nine -afoie , 
said Degrees,, 

X. As for the tenth Question, I do not find ncr 
have not read neither to my knowledge, in any Chro¬ 
nicle, law, History or Poetry, and Dictionary, any such 
w ord : but I find in the Laws and Chronicles, and in 
many, other places this .word* Rhailk t o be used for the 
oath of one hundred* men; or* two hundred, or three 
hundred, or such like number, for to excuse some hein- 
ous fact ; and the more hemous was the fact,.the more 
men must ba had in the Rhaith to excuse it; and one 
must be a chief man to excuse it amongst; them,, and 
that is called Penrhaitk , as it were the foreman of the 
Jury, and he must be the best, wisest, and discreetest 
of all the others. And to my remembrance the Rhait- 
hwr/r , that is the Men of the Rhaith , must be of those 
that are next of kin, and best known to the supposed 

offender, to excuse him for the fact, 

* t 


XT. As for the eleventh Question, I sav that T find 
a Steward and a Controller to be used for a Distain in 



in Inin „ ! „ n,„ .•-, an n— i .mi — - mu in u,_ j 1 -M nii n’|r loom jmim a ifci m ■ 

my Dictionary* I cannot find any greater definition 
given it any where, then is given it in my Book of 
Laws. Vide Dutainc , in the Table of my Book of 

XII. To the twelfth Question, I say, that the Brit¬ 
tons had many Councils, and had their Counsellors scat¬ 
ter'd in all the Lordships of the Land. And when any 
controversy or occasion of Counsel happen'd in Swyncdd , 

the king called his Counsellors that had their abode 

there, for to counsel for matters depending there, toge¬ 

ther with those that were there of his Court or Guard 

for the king and his chief Judge and certain of his 
Council always in his company; and when the king had 
any occasion of Counsel for matters depending in De- 
metia, or Powys, or CornwaT, he called those of his 
Counsel that dwelled in those coasts for to counsel with 
them. And they went to a certain private house or 
tower on a top of a hill, or some solitary place of coun¬ 
sel far distant from any dwelling, and there advised 

: • i 

unknown to any man but to the Counsellors them¬ 
selves; and if any great alteration or need of counsel 
were, that did pertain to all the land, then the king 
assited unto him all his Counsellors to some convenient 
place for to take their advice; and that happen’d but 

very seldom. 


Catalogues vocum quarundam Armoricakum quas 
Hibernicas esse deprehendi, quasque ex libello 
quern mihi mutuo dedit CL ei Rev . Dominus , 
Dominus Jo. Millius S\ S. T* in Academia 
Oxoniensi P . ibidemque Aidae Sand . Edmundanat 
Principalis , collegi et desumpsi . 

Bhittanni Armorici Angliam Bro-saos vocant, hoc 
est, Saxonum patriam; quo nomine paululum variato, 
Hiberni idem regnum indigitare solent : et ipsos in¬ 
colas Clan ria Sassanach , id est, Saxones ; ad ver- 
bum vero SaxonumJilios, appellant. ^ 

Hibernis gentilis sermo Gaolac dicitur, quod idem 
sonat significatque, ac Armoricorum Gallec , qua voce 
Gallorum linguam in hodiernum usque diem intelli- 
gunt, ut in ambarum gentium scriptis videre est. 

Etiamsi in sequent! Parallel© aliquando litteree et 
syllabae quaedam non levem discrepantiam prae se ferre 
videantur; eadem tamen illis est potestas, et sonus 
idem. Sic at, aff, et es finales Armoricae, respondent 
ach, agh , et as Hibernicis. Guy initial is cum Ji, b 
cum p, d cum t, f cum v saepissime commutantur. 

Scd de hisce fusius, et similis argumenti omnibus, 
in Dissertatione, quam de veterum Lingua Gallorum, 
cum primum Romanorum arma experti sunt, annuente 
summo numine, scripturi sumus. 



Oxoniae, 19 Decembris , Anno a Christo nato, 1693 . 
















G ronan. 

A sen* 








Scubelleii 0 














! Uan.' 


Me mh *. 

Caraid f. 
Carrantas j|. 

Di reach agh. 



Gruan *. 





Co ire. 








j Maithghnioth. 
j Maitheas. 



' Loscathu 

. Cris. 

J Luoth. 



I Humilis. 
j Humiliation 


Horn uncrn 




v Annus. 



A sinus. 




A vena. 





Verrere 9 Scopa, 
i Bonus. 






* Gatk etiam Hibernice. 

t Cara Hibernis Australibus. 
| Cardis etiam Hibernice. 

* Ganibh • liana Hibernice. 


aesffi jgaw a 





Gao r. 

Em ty me. 




G a rati* 

1 c!ig a 

Co aim 

Eve l, eg iris 








C rid iff. 

C reven. 






A creis 0 






Teoa hat 



Mocfa e 



( ribun. 

Maui . 

I Daii f. 


A ix id a thi. 


{Ca l. 


Ct ir. 
j Garagh. 

1 Fairne. 
j Coburn. 

hvail, egms 
1 Cuiiloeho 
l)i in. 

At (lie. 


Gu rjgln 
Gnat bar. 
jCieb imho 
- S’creavog. 

| Cre 

I Leatfair. 

} l >1 lagh. 
j DiabhiL 


’ A eh re is. 

Mi see. 


D remire. 



; Obnir. 



j Susie. 


Car bo. 




In Do mo rnea, 

1 an is venatreusu 
j Co> lum. 

| Cera. 


C lavas* 



i Galhs Gallinactus .. 

j Coluber. 

Demurs regra. 

Ova pone re. 






D< b.turBc 



K medio. 


^oi or. 




] Opus. 

I Ieriis. 

; Films. 

Pore us. 



t Uade forte droi Druides s doire nemu&> 





2 “ 


Tec he t- 

B loanee. 

Tt ant. 






La* smarm 

Quern esq. 
Offer en* 
M is. 


Bo gale. 



Ned elec, 


Du at. 


Nea rt. 

1 illTog. 



Gra nin. 


Uaii mhaithi, 

! ms, 

■; reangha* 

Let ban. 

Lea b liar,. 

1 H>rn, 
li * 

C iabh-, 

Droi hob i. 

. Le&romiathir, 

VI u i r f, 
i d ocare. 



A i tiVin J,. 

| viatihch % 

j Mi, 

I d0g, 

Ma !*Y. 

Bu *> hvill At 
Gi neal, 

Nollui c, 





Fossa, puteu$= 




\avis g 
f Pmguedo. 

Lu his, 



Lai gus.„ 


^ Fug mss. 

I )nmus. 

\ eger. 


\ verca. 
i Marie. 

Ma re 

j Merda. 

1 Mi-cere, 



Men sis, 

j VI or rims. 

| hue mi us. 

VI iHca. 


- •tivitatis 
Christi fehtrno, 
i\ i« e r a 
N i g redo. 

N UCeS. 


jj Deac etiam Hibermce. 

£ Morh et Moir etiam. 

|| Hand dubiura quia a Latiaa ofFero- dedueendum sit 






Piusquen un ui, 








Ran naff. 






T ruez. 



A VaR 
B re i naff. 









i arus. 








Ui vel Oi» 

Blusc na hui. 




. on 1 n 

Cir *• 

A thair. 

! Gulan,, 

A vull, 
Brea nag ho 



§ Hiberni eti^m discimt Criban. 

I|- Specially- * 










. Pel I is. 




Veotris crepitus® 



Fie re. 


Mai us, arbor. 

Pul mo. 

Putiescere, foetere 




Surd us, 



Tex tor, 


Bestia f, 


Vi rid is, 














m isiezre, 



Mi sguenuer, 

Di lun* 



; Kaer* 

'* Menn« 








* Operarius. 
§ Formosus. 

a Portimra* 


x^sa nfltr. 


Calx pedis, 





Lus, Lussam 







Mi dhu, 







I Aighle, 

| Caihir, 

J Meatman, 



Mensis Martial 
April is f, 

Junius J, 

Julius a, 
September 0 * 
October c, 
December 2 , 
i Februaries 
| Septimana, 

Dies Lunae, 
l Deus. 

1 Angeli, 
j Civitas* 

H oed us. 







| Aper, ' 

| Mensis. 

s Albiteg-umentL <f Aratcriiis. a 
T Initially q Semeotarius, 






A ER. - 






Ar, Aras, - 











Ane, Enel 






JP r 














Bach, Bag! 

Batta, Bachull. 
( Brennin, 

( Breatlxeamh. 

Brenn, Bremiyn. 












Aer, ' 

An rum . 





Arm a. 


Aniiiia. - 


\ A > £ * . 


Venter, ma- 


Vas fictile 
vel lignemti 

j- Rex, Judex. 



F rater. 



;*aB &aeaadgSj> 

’ssEisssr,'; r •&. ^itasi’iusuaiiibEa 

Bucli, Bouch, | Buc 

Ci, Cun. 




Cat r :Caz. 



Craou, Craouerr 

| x>uc 


Cu, Cun, 











Cam, Caro. 



Curun, coron„ 








Cru, Cnu, 


( ann, Caintic 

( am. 

C ant, ( cud. 
j Garr-fhiggtu 
I caddan* 


(j oroin. 

Goch, Corkire. 



1 Carcan, 

| Caban, 



i, (f~^ _C 5 r 

i; ^ a k 


Ranis, canes. 

; Rotundas. 

^ t arms aut 
£ ( urrus. 
Fells. ' 



C ( aulis vel 

j v> 

(_ israssica. 


( anticum. 


p ( analis, 
i Gervus. 
i barns. 

I ( 1 U X. 

( ’orona. 

( Coccus, 

( Purpureus. 

, Career. 

I Casula. 







1 ¥ V: ■' U v - 16 






Coll is. 

Daign • 


Gutta, lachryma. 


J Duille, 

(Duilleog, | 



Dorn. b , 



Doun* | 





Di, Deiz. 



'Dec. | 

Deag, Deich. 


Dolun 1 



Dug. i 





















v ideliceL 






Fuirn, . 


i m. 






Feu n 



F oen. 







Sron, Sronin, 

Nasrnn, Nares, 
















■ r 












Glu, Glut. 





j Porcomm 



I proboscis. 























| Somniig, 




i Veins. 





Is ge. 






Stagnum, lacus. 















Lacuna, stagnum 
















Lys, Leg, 


Aula, Curia. 




Ledr, Lezu. 

Leathar. -j 


Logis. | 

Lostin. 1 





' M. 









j Muliebre 
\ pallium. 



Sacei genus. 










Mor, Mar. 

Muir, Mara. 

. Mare. 









1 Mai us, seek* 

1 ratus. 





■ Marc. 





Ferrugo. - 




Neii, neues. 

■Nua, Nuaytho. . 

No vu s. 




Nith, Neis. 






Neza, Niddu. [ 



Miul, Niful. 









Natur. ‘ 

Naduir. > 

0 . 



Oil, uile. 








Oleu, Eol. 









Or. T * ,j 





JPris 0 
Porfor. . 







Pul, Pool, 


Raden, Radin, 
R hy, 


Rot, Rhod, 

Ros, Rosen. 

j Penip, vox an- 
\ tiqua-i 

Pisa. * * 


Port- , 



Punt a. 








Pdogh, r , \ 



Rhotha, lit. 
j Rosa. 













\ Stagnum, La- 
\ cuna, Sinus. 



Dominus, Rex, 
Enim, naio, 


j Rosa, 





Sgub, ysgub, 


Siell, Scl. 





SC& 1--U 






Sol, Lux, 




' T, 

Tarn, Taro, 



T ur, 





(Tumulus, Se 
' pulchrura. 





Deach, i 



Tearmonn, j 



Ti, Tigh, 


T aran, 

, Tonn an, 

j > T arneaohj 








T eyrn. 


Dominus, Rex, 








, Tunn, 







1 Oibh, 


Ur, Gur. 

’ Fear. 




c i: 





The Beatitudes , Matt. mii. 1, fyc. 

Kurus bras e’on peaty en ves a Blessed are the poor in Spirit, 
speret rac rouantelez an eujj'aon a for the kingdom of Heaven is 
ap par chant ontc. 

Burns bras eo an re debonner, 
rac an douar a possedint. 

Burns bras eo an re a gouel , rac 
console t vezint. 

Bums bras eo an re ho dehcz 
naoun ha rechet, rac rassassiet vezint. 

theirs, &c. 


Cha as ska, Sec. C as s. A fi¬ 
nal/’is mute. Double jf as a 
Consonant. Ga, g \ gv , hard ; Ge. 
Burns bras co an re trugareaus gi, soft. On as ni in Opinion, hi 
o devezo. is always pronounced. J Conso- 

Burns bras eo an re o deves ho narst as in Dutch. A final x as s. 
caloun naet, rac guelet a mint Bone. Z has a particular pronunciation. 

Je, an, Diminutive terminations ; 
as Map Mapic ; Metch, Merchic J 
(trilech, Grace hie, or Grueck bi~ 

Bums bras eo an re pacificq , rac 
gualvet vezint bugale Bone. 

Bums bras eo an re pere a andur 
persetion a palamour da justice rac han, &c. 
rouantelez an eufjaon so deze. 

The Sum of the Law and Gospel. 

Tea caro an Aniraou da Bone a Thou shalt love the Lord thy 
creis da calon, a creis da enf, hue God with all thy heart, with all 
. a creis da entendamerd. 

hy soul, and with all thy under¬ 

Thou shalt love thy neighbour 
as thy own self. 

Te a caro da ncssafj' eueldot da 

hurt an. 

The ten Commandments in verse. 


I. Bn un Boue parfaet ez credy , 
Ha parfaetamant a quiry. 

II. Boue e vaen ne touy quet, 

Na dememes nett r a erbet. 

JIB An Sulyon hac an Gonelyon 


A observy ganl pedenmu. 

I. One only God shalt thou believe. 
And perfectly love. 

II. By God in vain thou shalt not 

Nor likewise by any other thing. 

III. Sundays and Holydays shalt 
thou keep. 

In serving God devoutly, 

V 3 

f O 





IV. Da tat da mam hep haul fell. 

A enory hac ez bevy pell. 

V. Mountrer yvez nc vizij quel, 

A volontez nac a effet. 

VI. Luxurius mir ma vizy ; 

Na dre effect na dre desir. 

VII. Laezerez na mirct ma dacu 


En ep guys ne ry bizuicquen. 

VIII; Sac a euep den fats testeny 

Gaon e lecli guir ne liviry. 

IX. Na desir euffr au quicq 

Nemet gaut priet ep r (nuy quen. 

X. Madaon da henlez ne hoantai 

Euit ep raesoun ho miret. 

The Lord's Prayer. 

Hon Tat pehiny so en eujfou. 

IIoz hano bezet sanctified. 

Ho rouantelez devet demp. 

Ho volontez bezet graet en dpuar 
end en cuff. 

Rail demp hizyan hon bara ppm- 

Ha pardonet dem hon off ancon, 
euclma pardonomp dan rcen deyes 
ny ojfancet. 

Ha na permettet quet ez coveze 
Tnen teniation. 

Hoguen hon delivret a drove. 

O ^ 

Ma Doue ho pet truez onzijjfervez 
ho triumrcz bras. 


Me a erd en Doue e Tat ollgal - 
loudeCy crouer dan Euff ha dan do¬ 
llar. Hac en Jesus Christ e map 
unic hon Antrahou. Pehiny so bet 
concevet ves au Sprret santcl, guanei 
ves an guerches Mary En deves go - 
vzavet didan Ponce Pilat , so bet 
crudfiet, maru } ha sebeliet. 'So bet 

IV. Thy father and mother shalt 
thou honour, 

That thou mayest lead a long life. 

V. Thou shalt likewise do no 

By Will nor Deed. 

VI. Nor shall thou be luxurious 
In Deed or Desire. 

VII. Thou shalt not keep the 
goods of another 

Privately or by force. 

VIII. Thou shalt not bear fals^ 

Nor lye in any wise. 

IX. Thou shalt not do the works 
of the flesh. 

But in marriage onely. 

X. Thou shalt not covet thy neigh¬ 
bours goods 

To keep them without reason. 

In English. 

Our Father which art in Heaves 
Hallowed be thy name. 

Thy kingdom come. 

Thy will be done on Earth, a* 
it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our offences, ac 
we forgive those that offend us. 

Suffer us not to fall into fompta* 

But deliver us from evil. 

Lord have pity upon me accord* 
ing to thy great mercy* 


I believe in God the Father, &c* 
Antraou Doue discuezit diff hos 
enthou, lia quelennet diff ho gar- 
antehou. En hanu an Tat, an 
Map, an Speret santel. 

That is, 

Lord God shew me thy ways and 



U r % 
& G* a. 

•-»-* -•»-—■ • “*>— r-fwrri TlK 

drsqncnnet en iffernaou, la dan 
trede dez ressuscitct a maru da beu. 
(from Death to Life) So pingnet en 
Buffoon, hoc assezel an in dehou da 
Done, e Tat ollgaUoudec. A ham 
€Z day da barn an re Lea, hac an re 
maru. Me cret en Speret santcl , 
hac an Ifis Catholic. Ha commu¬ 
nion an sent. Remission an pec he- 
don. Resurrection an Quia, 

An' huhez ciernel. 

Eu ( bezel grad. 

teach me thy paths, in the name 
of the Father, Son, and Holy 

C'x • • . * 


Jesus map Doue ho pet trouez 

Jesus son of God have 

upon me. 

Harm Doue bezel beniguet. 

1 he name of the God be blessed. 
Antra on hoz bet truygarez onzemp , 
Lord have mercy upon vis. 

A bremman , bepret da bizuicquen . 
From this time to Eternity. 

So he it 


Unan , daou, try , penar, pemp , 
huech , seiz, eiz, nao , dee. unnee, 
daouzec, tryzec , penarzec , pempzec, 
seittcc , elttec, naontec, uguent. 

Uriah roar nugeni , 

Tregonh daouguent, hauler canty 
try uguent, dec a try uguent, penar 
iiguent, aec a penar uguent, Cant, 
Mil, Million . 

On t e, two, three, four, five, six, 
seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, 
twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, 
sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nine¬ 
teen, twenty. < 

One and twepty, &c. 

Thirty, forty, half a hundred, 
i. e. fifty, threescore, threescore 
and ten, fourscore, fourscore and 
ten, a Hundred. Thousand, Mil¬ 

Days of the Week . 

Dyssull, Dyllun, Demeurz , De¬ 
wier cher, Diziou, Derguener, Des- 
sadorn, un Sizun, un Dez. 


Doue da roiff dez mat deck. 

Ha dechhu Ivez. 

Penaus a hatwchku ? 

Yach auf a tiugarez Doue . 

Pea lech ez it-hu ? 

Me govezo an guiryonez. 

Dii Gallgrum. 

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, 
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 
Saturday, a Week, a Day. 

God give you a good day. 
And to you likewise. 

How do you do ? 

I am well by God’s mercy. 
Whither go you ? 

X shall know the truth. 

Officiorum Maxi me sa * 

crorum namina. 

Belenus, vel 


' \ 



Bardi. Bard, Baird\ EL 

Q K-> 


On van a. Anar a, Hib. 

Adraste. Andate. 

Summits Magistratus. 

¥Urgobretus. Fergobreihr , Hib. 



Militum Species. 
Gaelate. Gaiscioghach, Hib. 


Bagaudae. Bagadai. 


Armorum Nomina. 





M atara. 



Druids, i Dr i >nruidhe, 

( Hib. 

Eubages, corrupte pro Fates ♦ 
Militaria Vocabula. 



Machinae BeUicae „ 


Marigae. ^ 

Mangana. > , 

n t ft Means!tan, 
Mangonalia. J 

Curruum Nomina . 







Vestium Nomina. 

Tarei, Hib. 




* OciUIlftCl 1 D1 

Carnon. Carnan. videas, quaeras. T U .. L A * ^ 

Barcuaeus, pro Bardis. 

Bardocucullus, etiam pro Bardis. 

Braccae, pro omnibus. Breaccan . 



Animalium Nomina. 

Marc. Eomis. 

llhaphius, Lupus Cervinus. 

Abrana, Simia. 

Barracaceae, Pelliuni, &c. 

I ug, Cornix. Mus. 

Clupea. Piscis Species. 

t Linnae, saga quadra et mollia sunt, de quibus Plant, Linnae cooperta 
cst textrino Gallia, lsidor. 

Pinna Diodoro est sac is rsiLOs, et Varroui mollis sagus, Hibernia hodiernis 
indusium est non una mutaia iittera. 


V. \ 

. ) ' 

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